A while back, we reported that Dell may be working on a new Dell smartphone. Although highly speculative at the time, new reports suggest Dell is actively working on such a device, and that it will become Dell’s chief driver in the consumer market.
The new smartphone, codenamed the Dell Fly, will be based on Windows Mobile and be produced by Quanta Computer (who also produce the O2 XDA Atom smartphones). The Dell Fly will apparently feature a touchscreen (naturally!), Wi-Fi and HSDPA, and probably a full QWERTY keyboard as well.
Given Dell’s previous foray into the PDA market with its Dell Axim range, a new Dell smartphone certainly makes sense. Dell needs some presence in the mobile computer market beyond its omnipresent laptops, and it seems the world is turning more toward smartphones at the expense of PDAs. Developing smartphones rather than PDAs would therefore catch the current trend that Motorola, Nokia and Samsung are currently driving.
If Dell comes up with a device with appropriate connectivity (i.e. Wi-Fi and HSDPA) and software that enables easy access and synching to business-oriented data, such as email, contacts, calendar, etc., then they’re certain to have a winner on their hands, as they can simply bundle it with their desktop and laptop PCs at the expense of their competitors’ smartphones.
Of all the companies who are rumoured to be working on a smartphone at the moment (and that currently includes virtually every hi-tech company going, including Microsoft and Google), Dell would certainly be the safest bet. It’s hired Motorola’s former head of mobile devices, Ron Garriques, has experience with the PDA market with the Axim, and can leverage its existing PC business and relationship with large businesses around the world to drive sales.
The latest rumours suggest the Dell Fly release date will be fourth quarter 2007, so watch this space!