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 Both the Aero and Streak already had outdated versions of Android when they were announced, and the company only ended up shipping either several months later with no hardware or software upgrades past the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.