Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, will start selling Hewlett-Packard Co's netbook computers from May 17, according to a statement from Verizon Wireless.

The netbook is priced at $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a new two-year activation on a mobile broadband plan, the statement said.

The netbook will have a Windows XP Home edition operating system and will weight 2.4 pounds, Verizon said. The service plan will begin at $39.99 for monthly access, it said.

The still-evolving netbook market is growing thick with players from all over the tech sector. Wireless carriers such as AT&T Inc are helping lead the charge, while graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp, wireless chipmaker Qualcomm Inc and Freescale Semiconductor Inc have all designed ARM-based processors that can be used in netbooks.

The U.K.-based ARM Holdings Plc licenses the chip technology.

The netbook phenomenon took off in 2008, with sales of 11.7 million units, led by companies such as Acer Inc and Asustek Computer Inc that were quick into the market. Nearly every PC vendor offers an Intel Atom-based netbook, including Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc.

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)