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12/3/2007
01:11 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Is Dell Readying An iPhone Killer?

Rumors about a new smartphone from Dell have been floating about the Interwebs since the company hired former Motorola veteran Ron Garriques earlier this year. Garriques was brought on to help Dell revamp its mobile product lineup. Now that it's been nearly a year, is Dell ready to pounce with an integrated media device of its own?

Rumors about a new smartphone from Dell have been floating about the Interwebs since the company hired former Motorola veteran Ron Garriques earlier this year. Garriques was brought on to help Dell revamp its mobile product lineup. Now that it's been nearly a year, is Dell ready to pounce with an integrated media device of its own?Dell officially gave up on the PDA market during the second quarter of this year. If you go to its Web site, you can no longer purchase its Axim-branded Windows Mobile PDAs. You find a bunch of products from ASUS, Pharos and others. Competitor HP, however, has completely freshed its iPAQ lineup--including two new killer smartphones--in the interim and recently widened its lead over Dell in the PC market. Dell also gave up on the media player segment, canning its iPod-like MP3 player. That leaves two big holes in Dell's product offerings.

That might be about to change.

According to a Forbes report, Dell could be bowing a brand new smartphone / converged media device as soon as early 2008. It mentions a new device that is being jointly developed with Quanta and has video, an MP3 player, and Internet access. This device will make an appearance "early next year". Whether it is a new type of standard PDA with Wi-Fi, or an all-new device that has cellular radios on board, the article doesn't detail. Nothing is known about its potential operating system or what other technologies might be on board. The only thing that is certain is Dell needs a product like this right now.

To be quite frank, I don't think Dell can produce an iPhone killer. Can it put together a solid smartphone? Maybe. With help. For the time being, anyone hoping to buy a smartphone from Dell is going to have to be satisfied with the Nokia E Series devices listed for sale on the Dell Web site.

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