updated 08:05 am EDT, Tue September 6, 2011
Dell, Baidu partner on mobile devices
Dell is to partner with Baidu to develop tablets and mobile phones aimed at cracking the burgeoning Chinese mobile devices market, according to a report. With a mobile phone subscriber base in excess of 900 million users, and one of the fastest growing tablet markets in the world, the move may be a way of rekindling Dell's flagging mobile devices business.
Baidu is one of the best known brands in the Chinese market and is the dominant web search Engine in the country – mobile devices carrying the branding are expected to be well received. However, industry analysts are not so sure that Dell will succeed with this new strategy. The Chinese mobile devices market is currently dominated by Apple and Lenovo.
"I suspect this is just Dell, who has a lot of problems on the mobile and tablet front, grasping at straws to get any kind of publicity that it can to make its product more attractive," Michael Clendening, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors, told Reuters.
Dell has been increasingly interested in opportunities in the Chinese market. Its Streak 10 Pro tablet was launched in China first, ahead of launches in the US and Europe.
"Dell has got nothing to lose, they don't have a big mobile presence, so by partnering Baidu, they will probably get some momentum for their mobile products," said Sandy Shen, a research director with Gartner.
Baidu, for its part, seems quite determined to emulate Google's model, and has already launched a new mobile app platform, but is also developing its on tablet and mobile phone OS.
At this stage, the first Dell-made devices are expected to be Android-based although no firm timeframe has been outlined as to when the Dell-Baidu mobile devices are expected to launch.