Is Dell Aiming To Enter The Smartphone Market?
This won't be the first time we've heard the words "Dell" and
"smartphone" in the same phrase, but considering the source here, we're
much more inclined to believe something substantial is going on this go
around. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell, the Round Rock
powerhouse known almost entirely for its customizable desktop and
notebook PCs, could invade the cellphone market as early as next month.
According to "people familiar with the matter," who are curiously
unnamed in the report, the outfit has had a team of engineers working
on the phones (yes, plural, as in more than one phone) for "more than a
year from an office in the Chicago area." More specifically, the
handsets being toyed with in this super secret lab were supposedly
built around Google's Android operating system and Microsoft's widely
used Windows Mobile software.
We're told that one of the trial models (likely much different than the Axim PDA pictured) included an expansive
touchscreen but no QWERTY keyboard -- a trademark for handsets like
Apple's iPhone and the HTC Touch Diamond -- while another is a
"slider-style phone" with a keyboard that slips out from underneath,
presumably like the T-Mobile G1. Before you go getting too excited
about another big entrant in the blossoming smartphone realm, you
should know that Dell hasn't officially finalized its plans and could
still "abandon the effort."
Our take? We'd absolutely love to see Dell jump in here. The smartphone
market has really erupted of late, and there's nothing better than more
competition to keep everyone on their toes. We'll be watching intently
to see if Dell makes a surprise showing at Mobile World Congress in
March -- there's hardly a better time to officially launch a handset
that in the Barcelona spotlight.