Dell reportedly is pulling out of the smartphone market in the United States, ending sales of its Venue and Venue Pro smartphones with hopes of focusing on higher-margin mobile devices.
The move essentially ends the PC makers two-year dalliance with the highly competitive smartphone marketat least in the United Statesthat started in 2010 when it launched the Aero smartphone. That same year, Dell rolled out the Streak 5, a device with a 5-inch screen that some saw as either a large smartphone or a small tablet.
Dell has since ended sales of both that Streak and its larger 7-inch version.
A Dell spokesman told IDG News that Dells U.S. smartphone business had reached an end. No replacements for the Android-based Venue or Windows-based Venue Pro have been announced.
"Mobility products have shorter lifecycles than laptops and desktops," the spokesman said.
Dell is only the latest top-tier systems vendor to run into trouble trying to expand into the hotly contested smartphone space, which not only has Apple and its iPhone, but also a rash of playerssuch as Samsung, Sony and Motorolathat seem to be constantly rolling out smartphones running on Googles Android mobile operating system.
There also is the Microsoft/Nokia partnership, and Research In Motion, which is trying to rev up its BlackBerry business.
Hewlett-Packard had also tried to muscle its way into the smartphone and tablet space with its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in 2010. HPs attempts at devices powered by Palms webOS mobile operating system failed, including the TouchPad, which lasted on the market less than a year.
Dell executives reportedly are turning their focus on other areas, such as emerging markets and mobile devices that are business-focused and offer higher margins than smartphones. The company continues to look to expand beyond its PC roots and become more of an IT solutions and services vendor.
The Dell spokesman said the company will roll out more mobile products in the United States later this year, but would not say whether smartphones would be among them. Those products could coincide with the upcoming launch of Microsofts Windows 8 operating system, which also will be optimized for tablets.
Despite the decision to discontinue sales in the United States, Dell will still sell smartphones in other countries. According to IDG, Dell sells the Venue Pro in India, the Venue in South Korea, Streak smartphones and tablets in China, a Streak smartphone in Japan and streak tablets elsewhere.