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Dell's First Smartphone Attempt Rejected By Carriers

March 23, 2009


There were a few indications before this year's Mobile World Congress that Dell was working on a smartphone of their own to compete with the likes of Apple and the other big smartphone manufacturers, but nothing ever came to fruition, at least nothing publicly.  A recent research note by Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu states that the reason we haven't heard about Dell's smartphone since then is because it was rejected by carriers for being too Dell-like. According to the report, Dell created prototypes utilizing both Windows Mobile and the Android platforms, but neither was enough to differentiate their device from the rest of the pack.
“From our conversation with supply chain and industry sources, it appears that it ultimately came down to lack of carrier interest and small subsidies, making it difficult for Dell to make a profit," said Wu.
Wu doesn't believe that Dell has given up quite yet, stating:
“Dell remains committed to the cell phone space as it appreciates the opportunity in smart phones and the longer-term cannibalization potential of PCs.” He adds that “at the end of the day…PC vendors may have an advantage over traditional cell phone competitors as a smart phone is more PC than cell phone with all the computer functionality and voice as a commodity.”
Dell will be headed back to the drawing board probably in an attempt to make their smartphone more iPhone-like instead of Dell-like.  Wu reports that Dell is even considering acquisitions to assist in their efforts. What do you folks think?  Does Dell have a chance in the smartphone market, or will it their efforts turn out to be just another Dell Jukebox? [via Tech Trader Daily]

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