Capitalizing on the success of recent trials, AT&T confirmed plans Tuesday to sell mini-laptop PCs (i.e., netbooks) in all of its U.S. retail locations that come pre-loaded with third-generation AT&T wireless cards, as Verizon Wireless unveiled a similar service for its subscribers that features discounted netbooks by Hewlett-Packard (HP). Netbooks, which feature screen sizes of ten inches or less, are proving to be star performers in an otherwise lagging personal computer market where overall sales are expected to fall as much as 9.9% this year. According to market research firm IDC, first quarter $500) jumped seven-fold worldwide over the same period last year, reaching 4.5 million units, with total shipments expected to exceed 22 million this year. Starting this summer, AT&T will begin selling netbooks from Acer, Dell and Lenovo for as little as $99 in its 2,200 retail outlets and through its website. Customers will have to sign a two-year data contract with rates of between $40 and $60 per month to qualify for netbooks at the discounted price. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Verizon began marketing discounted HP mini laptops (priced at $199) to customers who agree to pay a monthly rate of $60 for mobile data service. Experts say that similar offerings could enable wireless carriers to win new customers in the midst of an increasingly saturated mobile telephony market.sales of netbooks (which typically retail at between $300 and $500) jumped seven-fold worldwide over the same period last year, reaching 4.5 million units, with total shipments expected to exceed 22 million this year. Starting this summer, AT&T will begin selling netbooks from Acer, Dell and Lenovo for as little as $99 in its 2,200 retail outlets and through its website. Customers will have to sign a two-year data contract with rates of between $40 and $60 per month to qualify for netbooks at the discounted price. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Verizon began marketing discounted HP mini laptops (priced at $199) to customers who agree to pay a monthly rate of $60 for mobile data service. Experts say that similar offerings could enable wireless carriers to win new customers in the midst of an increasingly saturated mobile telephony market.