updated 07:40 am EDT, Tue March 24, 2009
Dell Says Phone on Time
Dell's namesake founder Michael Dell has reportedly told industry members in Taiwan that his company has already been working on not one but multiple smartphones. Speaking as part of a private visit to Taipei, the CEO said the devices are "on schedule" but didn't say when this would be. Those at local cellphone makers speculate that any phones are most likely to use Windows Mobile but that Google Android is also a possibility.
Foxconn has reportedly been contracted to help with whatever smartphones result, Taiwan newspaper Commercial Times claims.
Unofficially, Dell is rumored to have faced significant delays. While at least one smartphone had been in development, the company is believed by one analyst to have been forced into a redesign after carriers saw prototypes as too similar to designs they already had on hand or would have soon. The effect has allegedly been disruptive enough to Dell's plans that the company is looking at pursuing a tightly integrated hardware and software model instead of simply licensing a phone OS.
Most observers believe Dell has considered getting into smartphone development both for its role in the future of mobile computing but also for the increasing involvement of other computer builders in the business; Apple is the most notable example but was preceded well before by HP's iPAQs; Acer also just recently launched its first-ever smartphones and plans to make cost a focus.