updated 04:45 pm EDT, Mon June 29, 2009
Dell Android Touch Device
Dell's rumored smartphone may only be an Internet-capable handheld, a leak today says. A contact for the Wall Street Journal supports the belief that an Android-based touchscreen device is in the works but that it won't have phone features. It should be slightly larger than the iPod touch and would instead focus on Internet access.
Even so, the unnamed technology would potentially sell through carriers in a subsidized model, though this would likely require 3G support that hasn't been mentioned. Like most Android devices, it would use an ARM processor, breaking from Dell's usual insistence on x86-based chips like those from AMD and Intel. Even Intel's Atom chip currently uses too much power to fit in this class of product.
The same source also casts doubts on the long-term viability of the handheld and says that it could be scrapped entirely if it doesn't make a launch in the second half of the year.
Launching an Internet-only device would provide a different view of apparent failed launches for a smartphone through Dell. Having canceled its Axim PDA line in 2007, the company is rumored to have had prototype smartphones rejected by providers for being too generic. The new rumor would suggest that Dell is now returning more closely to the original Axim concept. In the tip, it's also mentioned that Dell had started the project in 2008 after aborting an attempt to return to competition with Apple in music players.