Dell will begin shipping the Venue Pro--its $99.99 Windows Phone 7 handset with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard--on Dec. 9.
will begin shipping the Venue Pro, its first Windows Phone 7 handset, Dec. 9.
Retailing for $99.99 with a two-year contract, the smartphone includes a
4.1-inch multi-touch display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
hopes that the Venue
and other Windows Phone 7 smartphones launched during this holiday
season will attract both consumers and businesses, allowing it to retake some
of the market share in mobile lost over the past few years to the likes of
Google Android and the Apple iPhone. Microsoft is requiring that its
manufacturing partners respect certain minimum requirements for each handset,
including a 1-GHz processor; beyond that, some of those OEMs have begun adding
their own hardware tweaks to the basic Windows Phone 7 model, including pop-out
speakers and, in the case of Dell, slide-out keyboards.
just such a slide-out keyboard, the Venue Pro greatly resembles the BlackBerry
, Research In Motion's latest attempt to bridge the consumer and
enterprise segments. Dell is similarly casting its new phone as a device intended
for the broadest possible audience.
see the Venue Pro for everyday people with a diverse range of full and busy
lives," Bill Gorden, a Dell spokesperson, wrote
in an Oct. 11 posting on the corporate Direct2Dell blog
. "They need to
stay connected, be productive and keep in touch with colleagues, friends and
families. Dell designed the Venue Pro to be a multipurpose device to help
people be more efficient, always connected and entertained."
other smartphone entries include the Streak, which launched in the United States Aug. 13. Meant to walk the thin line between
smartphone and tablet, the 5-inch device features front- and rear-facing
cameras and a modified Google Android operating system. It is priced at either
$549.99 unlocked or $299 with a two-year AT&T contract.
is backing Windows Phone 7 with an appropriately huge marketing campaign, but
some analysts think these smartphones face an uphill battle for adoption.
all the stars are aligning for the Microsoft operating system the way it did
for [Google] Android," Ross Rubin, the NPD Group's executive director for
industry analysis, wrote
in a Nov. 30 posting on the research firm's corporate blog
whereas Verizon had a paucity of touch-screen smartphones prior to the Droid,
AT&T and T-Mobile are flush with them." As GSM-based carriers, both
AT&T and T-Mobile are offering Windows Phone 7 first; CDMA-based carriers
such as Verizon will debut their own line of devices in 2011.
the other hand, the devices at those carriers offer clear alternatives to the
incumbents," Rubin wrote. "All of the Windows phones at AT&T pack
something the iPhone lacks, and the HD7's screen looms large above others in
Microsoft executives have suggested a Windows
Phone 7 software update is already in the works for release within the next few
weeks; rumors from developers, meanwhile, insist that the update itself will be
massive in scope, possibly adding features missing from the smartphones' first
iteration. However, Microsoft and its carrier partners have yet to offer any
hard sales data for Windows Phone 7, which went on sale in early November.