Report: Dell to Bring Google android Phone to AT&T in 2010

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Move over iPhone, there's a new player coming to town: Dell is expected to bring a Google Android-based phone to AT&T sometime in 2010, allowing the Roundrock, TX based company to go mano a mano with Apple's iPhone. The Wall Street Journal reported that it would be a touch-screen interface device (no keypad), citing unnamed sourced who were briefed on the product by Dell.

Dell first announced its desire to enter the cell phone market in August, where it showed a device being developed by Chinese manufacturing partners. The Android-based product is, apparently, similar to the product first shown at that time, but it includes a camera, too.

Android is Google's smartphone OS that it licenses to companies like HTC, Samsung, and now Dell. Existing Android phones offer touchscreen interfaces, and can tap into third party apps, though the number of Android apps is currently about 13,000 (according to Androidlib.com, as noted in the comments below), dwarfed by the more than 85,000 iPhone apps on the market.

Dell spokespersons declined to comment to the Journal for this story, but the company did say it was "focused on mobility." Dell was also focused on the digital media device market with the Dell DJ after Apple made such a huge hit with the iPod. The company quietly dropped the product line a couple of years later.

[Edit: The article was updated to accurately reflect the number of Android apps on the market. - Editor]

Comments

Khaled

This should be interesting, you have the proprietary hardware/software smartphones in one corner (Apple and Palm), software and various hardware (Android and Symbian in a way) and in the third corner, lost and confused is Microsoft and their Pink/Zune/WinMo wink

Dave Hamilton

Should be interesting to see what happens. Dell made a name for themselves building cheap, not-so-sexy, reliable computers (they were the most reliable mass-market Windows machines to be found in the late 90’s, IMHO).

My guess is they’ll do the same thing with this. Thing is, I’m not sure I want a phone in my pocket that better resembles WWII surplus equipment. I can see the marketing slogan now: “Big, Bulky, and it works!” Oh wait, didn’t they use that with their laptops in the 90s?

Bryan Chaffin

Dell could see some success with this in its PC stronghold, Enterprise. Android is levels of magnitude better than Windows Mobile, and it will be hard for Dell to mess this up, so to speak.

But, I don’t think that Dell is going to make a standout product, either. That said, it appears as if it’s being entirely outsourced in the first place, so Dell isn’t really going to be “making” it at all.

To sum up: Dell’s success or failure with this effort is likely to be a direct reflection of Android’s successes and failures, leaving Dell a bit player in that piece of Android’s piece of the smartphone pie.

geoduck

The best part of this is as Khaled pointed out, this will a big nail in the Microsoft Windows everywhere strategy.

Jeff Gamet

My Jedi instincts tell me Dell will hit a home run with its Android phone in the same way it did with the Dell DJ. The product will work, but it won’t be as sleek, easy to use or cool as Apple’s products, and consumers will lose interest quickly.

Dave’s “big, bulky, and it works” line sums it up. I’m OK with that for my toaster, but not for my smartphone. I want small, sleek, and it works great.

Terrin

The problem is that Dell is going to have all the problem Apple experiences now without as compelling a product. Namely stuck on AT&T’s network.

daemon

though the number of Android apps numbers in the hundreds

According to androidlib.com, there are over 13,000 applications available for the Android platform.

The proof is in the statistics.

Bryan Chaffin

According to androidlib.com, there are over 13,000 applications available for the Android platform.

Thanks, daemon. I should have checked the current numbers before publishing this piece! The article was updated accordingly.

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