A Dell executive says the company is planning a consumer-focused tablet for release at the end of 2012, though he would not say whether it would run Android or Windows 8.
decision last year to stop selling the 5- and 7-inch Streak tablets apparently
did not end the systems maker's plans for the form factor.
In an interview with Reuters
Jan. 11, Steve Felice,
Dell's chief commercial officer, said the company will re-enter the highly
competitive tablet space with a consumer device in late 2012, though he would
not say on what platform the tablet would be built-Google's Android or
Microsoft's Windows 8, which is due for release later this year.
did say, though, was that Dell officials have learned from the relative failure
of the myriad tablets on the market that were designed to challenge Apple's
dominant iPad, and that they are incorporating those lessons learned in
developing their current tablet strategy. Dell stopped selling the Streak 7
2011, a few months after it ended sales of the Streak 5. Both Android-based
devices were more business-focused.
have been rolling out tablets that more directly challenge Apple's
consumer-focused iPad, with limited success. Most, such as Samsung and
Motorola, have relied on the Android mobile OS, while others-in particular,
Hewlett-Packard with webOS and Research In Motion with its BlackBerry operating
system-have used other platforms.
consumer tablet, Dell is being patient and carefully planning the device, Felice
said. In particular, he said, was that customers buying a tablet are interested
in a different user experience than when they're buying a PC.
been taking our time," he told Reuters during an interview at the Consumer
Electronics Show. "You will see us enter this market in a bigger way
toward the end of the year. So we are not really de-emphasizing it, we are
really being very careful how we enter it. When you are talking about the PC,
people are more focused on the hardware itself. When you are talking about the
tablet or the smartphone, people are interested in the overall environment it's
spending more time concentrating on the "overall ecosystem," he said.
will be an Android or Windows ecosystem is unclear, with Felice giving little
indication. However, he did say he was impressed with the touch features coming
in Windows 8.
Windows 8, but we continue to develop with Android as well," Felice said. "We
are still going to be more choice-driven, based on the feedback we get from
pointed to the rise in the popularity of tablets as a key factor in slowing PC
sales worldwide over the past year. However, even as they look to build tablets
to challenge the iPad, systems makers also are pushing forward with new
ultrabooks, very thin and light notebooks that offer the same functionality of
traditional notebooks with features-such as instant-on capabilities and long
battery life-of tablets.
were a key focus at CES this year, and Dell at the show rolled out its own
offering, the XPS 13
. Dell officials are saying the
ultrabook, which will be available in the United States at the end of Feburary,
will have a starting price of $999.