Dell's Mobile Products Fail to Excite Buyers

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-25 Print this article Print


5. Where is the value proposition?  

With every product Dell sells, the company needs to make a clear value proposition. But with the Aero and Streak, it hasn't. In fact, it has failed at showing why a consumer should want one of its products over another. The tech space is crowded, and the company with the best product typically wins. Dell should know that by now. But the Aero and Streak prove that it doesn't. 

6. AT&T isn't helping matters

One of the biggest issues with the Aero is that it's available exclusively to AT&T. AT&T is also the exclusive home of the iPhone. And if folks don't want to pay the $199 for an iPhone 4, they can pick up an iPhone 3GS for $99 -- the same price as the Aero. There is no reason for anyone to choose the Aero over the iPhone. And Dell, by making its device available to AT&T customers, will soon find that out. 

7. The enterprise is left out 

Dell has seemingly forgotten the enterprise with its mobile strategy. The company's tablet will in no way appeal to firms that are looking to get their hands on productive devices, like the iPad or the upcoming Cisco Cius. Plus, the Aero smartphone can't compete with a BlackBerry. Dell forgot the enterprise in its mobile strategy. And over the coming years, it will learn quickly that that was a major mistake. 

8. Consumers don't understand Dell 

When a consumer goes to an AT&T store or browses Dell's tablet online, they will undoubtedly be confused. They won't understand why the smartphone lacks the features they want. They won't get why the tablet is so small and so unappealing. Today's consumers expect several features in their mobile products, including an outstanding operating system and thoughtful design. Dell isn't providing that. And consumers won't respond well to it. 

9. The pedigree isn't ideal 

It's hard to criticize Dell for its mobile issues without evaluating its history. In the past, Dell's attempts to break into the mobile market have failed miserably. The Axim handhelds were supposed to be the products that would help Dell take on HP's iPaq. But all they did was gather dust on store shelves. Dell has a proven history of not being able to appeal to mobile users. Why would anyone think that would change now? 

10. Where is the hype? 

Apple is as successful as it is because it can build hype for its products. When it announces a new device, the media jumps on it, and just about everyone hears about it within minutes of Steve Jobs' announcement. Dell, on the other hand, seemingly has no clue how to build hype for its products. When the Streak was released, few paid attention. Now that the Aero is out, the vast majority of consumers probably have no idea. Hype sells products. But Dell doesn't seem to get that. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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