It’s not everyday that one of the top PC manufacturers decide to get into the smart-business. After all, if Apple can pull off an iPhone, so can Dell, right? Whatever the case, all the signs are pointing to Dell releasing its first smart phone killer, offering it through AT&T. Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell’s phone will be an Android phone and will hit the stores in 2010. Dell has been dreaming of coming up with an iPod killer for years, and with the help of Google, it’s dreaming of taking iPhone down. The problem is Dell is stepping out of its core business and has got a dubious track record when it comes to competing with other top companies in the gadget business (PCs not included).
There are two major problems with Dell strategy. Dell does not have a good track record developing gadgets, and we have seen one too many bomb. The company is looking for ways to grow and has already tried its hand in the netbook market. But phones are a whole other animal, and Dell’s brand doesn’t exactly give you peace of mind in the smart-phone market. Let’s say this phone is truly a killer device capable of competing with Apple iPhone. How’s Dell going to deal with all the bad coverage that AT&T has been getting lately (dropped calls, rejecting apps, …). Verizon is clearly a more interesting option for Dell, but since the device is not even released to the market, there may still be a chance for Dell to work with other wireless carriers.
Dell jumping on Android bandwagon is only going to infuriate Apple further in its titanic battle with Google. AT&T has already had to make a few concessions and give up some ground, but Apple will certainly not take these developments lightly. And you can expect Google – Apple relationship to become more tense. It’s still tough to see what Dell intends to do in the smartph0ne market. The company has a lot of issues on its hands and competing in another red ocean may not be the answer. Perhaps the e-book reader business is next for Dell?
Your take: would you buy Dell’s smart-phone if it were available today?
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