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Dell said nearing smartphone launch

updated 10:20 am EST, Tue January 13, 2009

AmTech on Dell Smartphone

Dell is getting closer to releasing its long-rumored first smartphone, according to a research note by Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Investigations within Dell's supply chain point reportedly indicate that a Dell smartphone is "closer to reality" after roughly two years of discussions with those companies that might offer parts for the device. No specific launch window has been set.

Specifications are also unknown, though Dell has usually embraced Windows Mobile-based devices, both through its discontinued PDA-only Axim devices as well as its current catalog of third-party phones that favors the Microsoft platform.

Dell has publicly tried to play down rumors of its launching a phone but has stopped short of openly denying the claims, which have been fueled in part by its hiring a former Motorola cellphone chief to head up its home product business.

Wu suggests that a smartphone would likely be introduced to mitigate the effect of smartphones siphoning away notebook users but warns that Dell would have to make its effort truly distinctive to have a realistic chance at gaining significant market share. The two fastest-rising competitors in smartphones, Apple and RIM, build both unique hardware and software where less influential firms like HTC, iMate, Motorola and Palm are currently building devices based on device-independent operating systems like Windows Mobile and now Google's Android. Palm's attention-getting Pre uses the in-house webOS rather than either the old PalmOS or Windows Mobile systems found on its existing devices.

"For this reason, we [at Kaufman] believe Dell may need to consider an acquisition" of a software maker, Wu argues.

By Electronista Staff


  1. psdenno

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003



    Nowhere in the article were the words "iPhone Killer" used - good journalistic restraint, macnn. Perhaps, there's hope.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    Get ready, set, FAIL. Just like the dell craptastic music player.

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005


    Dell Software?

    I'd be amazed if they can manage it, even by acquisition.

    There's a lot to be said for 'company DNA' and essentially Dell's DNA is about tightly managing the supply chain, and competing on price.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    Whats the point of DELL doing this?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Why?

    Well, the first question isn't "Why?" but "Is there reason to believe Shaw Wu and rumors from the supply chain?"

    The thing is, there isn't any reason for Dell to do this. It could be they are looking into it (wouldn't they be really stupid not to look into the market)? That would also explain contacts to the channel, to determine costs of parts and manufacture.

    But it could also be some other "killer device", like a more dedicated hand-held computer or tablet that they are looking at.

    But if they do come out with a phone, I hope its on Verizon! They just seem so perfect for each other....

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999



    It would still be a cheap useless DELL. Enough said.

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