Dell CEO Michael Dell introduced a 7-inch Android tablet at Oracle OpenWorld. What about the Dell Streak? Analysts discuss its position in the evolving market.
When Dell CEO Michael Dell unveiled
a prototype of a 7-inch Android tablet
computer Sept. 22 at Oracle OpenWorld, he generated more questions than
When will it appear? How much will it cost? Will carriers distribute it, or
will Dell sell it direct and solely? Will it run Android 2.2 like Archos' lineup
or the Samsung Galaxy Tab
? How will it differentiate from those tablets,
as well as Apple's smash-hit iPad?
Moreover, is the 7-inch tablet designed to phase out the Dell Streak, whose
5-inch screen form factor some analysts see as too big for a phone and too small
for a tablet?
Analysts said Dell's 7-inch tablet is par for the course for a computer
company accustomed to taking a strong position in a PC industry that has been
revitalized in recent years, first by netbooks and now by flat computers with
Gartner Research analyst Carolina Milanesi said if the Dell device could
support the Android 3.0 operating system release expected later this year, she
suggested Dell should go with a 10-inch display instead of the 7-inch display
the Galaxy Tab offers.
Android 3.0 is optimized for tablet computers. Android 2.2, by Google's own admission
, is not.
Moreover, a 7-inch machine is closer to a smartphone than a tablet, Milanesi
said, noting that the 5-inch Dell Streak has not sold well where she is based
in the U.K.
Dell launched the Streak in the U.K.
in July. Dell sells the device online for $549.99, or $299.99 with a two-year
contract from AT&T. Best Buy will begin selling next month.
Milanesi said the 5-inch form factor offered by the Streak will not be a
successful one "as it is almost too big for your pockets and not big
enough to give you a richer experience than a 3.2- or 3.5-inch screen. A 7-inch
screen does not improve things much."
Good thing Dell is already working on a larger-screen convertible
tablet/netbook, the 10-inch Inspiron Duo, which Dell's David Zavelson demonstrated
at the Intel Developer Forum Sept. 14. As with
the 7-inch device, little else is known about this machine.