Dell's Smartphone Better Be Spectacular - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
1/30/2009
07:09 PM
50%
50%

Dell's Smartphone Better Be Spectacular

Analysts agree that Dell would have to go beyond the Apple iPhone, the RIM BlackBerry, and the upcoming Palm Pre.

Dell is reportedly working on a smartphone that the computer maker could introduce as early as this month, but if the company has any hope for success in the fiercely competitive market, its phone will have to go beyond good. It will have to be "spectacular," analysts say.

The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 30 reported that Dell engineers have been working for more than a year on the device and have built prototypes on Google's Android operating system and Microsoft's Windows Mobile software. Quoting people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said one model would include a touch screen, but no physical keyboard, like Apple's iPhone; while the other would have a keypad that slides from beneath the screen.

Contacted Friday by InformationWeek, a Dell spokesman declined comment, saying in an e-mail, "As a rule we do not comment on rumors and speculation."

Dell's plans aren't final, and the company could decide to abandon the project, the Journal said. But Dell executives have discussed a possible smartphone launch next month at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, a communications conference in Barcelona, Spain. If that happens, then Dell will be setting off on a difficult journey.

"It would be one of the riskiest moves Dell has ever made," Ken Dulaney, analyst for Gartner, told InformationWeek. So risky that Dulaney found it hard to believe the company would even try to slug it out with the likes of Apple and Research In Motion, given that Dell would be a newcomer in such a highly competitive market. "They can't be that stupid," he said.

Indeed, the one thing analysts agree that Dell would need is a smartphone that wows consumers and analysts, which means it would have to go beyond the Apple iPhone, the RIM BlackBerry, and the upcoming Palm Pre.

"If they don't have something that's spectacular, than it's going to be a problem," Dulaney said.

John Spooner, analyst for Technology Business Research, agrees that the Dell phone would have to be "really, really good," and said the company would have better luck on the Android platform than Windows Mobile, which he called "clunky."

"If they want to compete with the iPhone versus other Windows Mobile phones, which is less lofty of a goal, then they're going to have to make it really simple and easy to use, and that's a real challenge," Spooner said.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Success = Storage & Data Center Performance
Balancing legacy infrastructure with emerging technologies requires laying a solid foundation that delivers flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. Learn what the most pressing issues are, how to incorporate advances like software-defined storage, and strategies for streamlining the data center.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll