Gateway on Friday became the latest PC maker to offer a $399 PC, selling its 300S model for that price--sans monitor--after a $100 rebate. Gateway joins Hewlett-Packard and eMachines, which also offer $399 PCs.
Gateway Senior Vice President Brad Shaw said his company is aiming to convince customers that it has the best value, whether that's a $399 PC or a $3,000 television.
"When you look out, there are still people in the market shopping and buying," Shaw said. "There is plenty of opportunity to continue selling. We are just saying let's get out there early and take the lion's share of the attention."
With many analysts predicting that the holiday season may be weak for PCs, Gateway also wants to show consumers that there are other reasons to check out its stores, such as to buy digital music players or video cameras.
The $399 Gateway PC comes with a 1.8GHz Intel Celeron processor, a 40GB hard drive, 128MB of memory, a CD burner, and a year's worth of America Online Internet service.
Separately, Gateway also said it will offer free training classes to teachers. Teachers and administrators in the United States can sign up now through the end of the year for the classes, which will take place at all of Gateway's U.S. stores.
Gateway is following in the footsteps of Apple Computer, which last month said it would offerof Mac OS X to teachers.