Orange UK planning "heavily discounted" MacBooks with mobile broadband?

Orange UK are expected to begin offering heavily-subsidized Apple MacBook laptops with two-year mobile broadband contracts, according to industry site Mobile.  The deal – which would be the first time Apple's notebooks had been offered in this way in the UK – is believed to begin at some point over the summer, thanks to a "volume commitment" from Orange.

The MacBooks themselves will not feature integrated 3G broadband, but come with USB modems.  Specific pricing has not been mentioned, but the laptops will not be free; depending on the required monthly tariff, it seems reasonable to expect £400-500 discount ($585-730), based on previous "free laptop" deals.

Orange have declined to comment on the rumor, but negotiations are believed to be close to completion.  It's also suggested that the carrier is hoping the promotion will later sway Apple to enter into a distribution deal for future laptops with integrated mobile broadband.

[via Pocket-lint]