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Dell formally quits smartphones in US for now

updated 11:35 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2012

Dell exits another mobile category

Dell in a statement confirmed that it had backed out of smartphones in the US. At least at present, the Android-running Venue and Windows Phone-based Venue Pro had "run their course," PCWorld paraphrased a Dell representative as saying. There would be mobile devices later into 2012, but Dell was unclear if there would be more than tablets at the time.

The PC builder still sells the Venue line in other countries and late last year unveiled the Streak Pro 101DL for Japan, its first real high-end smartphone.

Dell first dipped into smartphones in the US with the Aero, a then-midsized Android phone. However, it and the Streak 5 tablet unveiled in the same year reflected what was often seen as an uncoordinated mobile strategy and Dell's tendency at the time to pre-announce products months in advance. Both the Aero and Streak already had outdated versions of Android when they were announced, and the company only ended up shipping either several months later with no hardware or software upgrades past the original preview.

Dell has had a tendency to follow Apple into a mobile category, only to back out relatively soon after. Apart from smartphones, Dell tried to counter the iPod with its DJ line of MP3 players. The Streak 5 was developed concurrently with the iPad and wasn't intended as direct competition, but its short-lived Streak 7 counterpart was more consciously intended as a full tablet and struggled even relative to the small market shares of ASUS, Samsung, and other Android tablet supporters.

Most of Dell's hopes on reentering mobile are pinned on Windows 8 making PC-like tablets suitable for home users rather than niche enterprise markets.

Venue Pro



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. davester

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2001

    +25

    Drop in the ocean

    To be honest, I wasn't even aware that they were in the smartphone business... lol

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000

    +23

    Michael Dell ...

    Time to close up shop and pay off the shareholders.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    +9

    So now what?

    Didn't they make a big deal about getting rid of all their BlackBerries? Are they all going to be using Nokia Windows Phones, or can Dell employees buy iPhones again?

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +6

    New markets?

    Dell made smartphones? Who knew?

    Oh well, they can always try those emerging Asian markets.
    Myanmar. North Korea. Etc.

  1. gikku

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +10

    it's time

    time to quit PCs too!

  1. macnnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +8

    wha?

    nobody wants a DULL smartphone?

  1. DA360

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2009

    +9

    Not surprising at all...

    It's not surprising at ALL. Even their on-site repair partners (I work for one of them) are using iPhones instead of whatever Dell was making (my job have us AT&T iPhone 3GSs, not the best but they work well for what we use them for: Calling customers, and using our online system to put in info into our system to mark what we've done for calls). Even Dell's Technician Tool is available for iOS and Android along with with the less than 1% of the market WinMo 7 (and on the OS choice, iOS is on the top. They use a corporate distro profile for the iOS app since its ONLY for techs and they didn't want it in the App Store). Dell even RECOMMENDED us to get the iPhones.

    We had WinMo 6.5 PDAs previously and it was THE WORST phone I EVER used. It would dial people at random, hangup on people during calls at random, go into airplane mode at random, and ofcourse Mobile IE crashed CONSTANTLY and the device would lock up constantly. I am VERY glad the company I work for switched to iPhones. Also, it allows us to finally use our Exchange email as well (since they used the iPhone Configuration Utility to create a profile with a security certificate so it can securely connect to the server without needing a VPN).

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    +5

    Windows 8 Won't Save Them

    Dell is betting a lot on Windows 8 and their ability to make a tablet Windows 8 computer. However, if they have so far gotten in and out of the MP3 market, the PDA market, the smart phone market, and the tablet market only to return to the low profit, cheaply built PCs. This is not a good sign for the future of Dell or Windows 8.

    The last thing Microsoft needs is to depend upon companies like Dell to make Windows 8 cool and relevant. It looks more and more likely that Windows 8 will sell quite well, but mainly as a desktop system and that the Metro interface will become irrelevant.

    This shows the problems of Microsoft's "One OS Will Rule Them All" strategy. It looks great on paper that the same OS you use in your desktop machine is the same OS that's on your tablet. However, when they have completely different user interfaces, and have two completely different sets of programs for each platform, there is no advantage of having the same OS.

    This is the main reason why Apple didn't go with the strategy even though Mac OS X had a bigger cool factor than Windows. Remember that the original name for the iPhone OS was "Mac OS X for the iPhone", then later "OS X for the iPhone", then finally "iOS". Apple still saw that calling both operating systems by the same name would be confusing.

    It looks like Windows 8 tablets won't be making much of an impact on the market.

  1. ADeweyan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2004

    +2

    Please, don't say...

    ... that if we were Michael Dell we would close up the company and return the money to the investors.

    Sure it is deserved, and was cute, maybe the first 1,000 times this was used -- but it's over now. Let it go.

    Oops, I see I am too late.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    -1

    Dell...

    should stick to making monitors... probably outsell their PC itself. People, don't buy ACER, it breaks down fast.

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