This one's not a done deal just yet, but reports are starting to surface out of the UK that Orange and Apple are in the "final stages" of discussions about offering subsidized MacBooks to folks willing to sign a two-year mobile broadband contract. Of course, unlike some netbooks offered by the carrier, the MacBooks wouldn't be free, but some are speculating that the MacBooks could go for as little as £369 (or about $560), which is backed up somewhat by the £350 price Orange is currently asking for a Toshiba laptop on a similar contract. According to Mobile Today, the two companies have even gone so far as to test Orange's mobile broadband dongles with the MacBooks, and Orange has reportedly already made a "volume commitment" with Apple. Not surprisingly, the speculation only takes off further from there, with word circulating that Orange execs supposedly hope that this is only the beginning of a relationship with Apple, which could eventually lead to MacBooks with built-in SIM cards.

[Via The Register]

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Orange to offer subsidized MacBooks on contract?