Dell plans to begin selling its Google Android-based Streak hybrid tablet device in the United States for $500 at the end of July.
Ron Garriques, president of Dell's Communication Solutions Group, at the D8 conference June 2 said Dell will sell the 5-inch tablet-smartphone combination unlocked through Dell.com.
Garriques also implied that Dell would partner with a wireless carrier to sell the device, with that price being a "carrier decision."
Carriers would presumably sell the Streak subsidized with a two-year contract the same way they sell mobile phones, making the device more affordable for consumers.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless sell high-end smartphones that would cost $500 or $600 for $200 or less with two-year contracts and $100 rebates. Expect the same treatment for the Streak.
Unlocked for $500, the Streak costs as much as the base Apple iPad. Subsidized, the Streak could prove more attractive for Web surfers baulking at buying an iPad.
Garriques described the Streak, which sports a capacitive, WVGA touch screen and 5-megapixel camera, runs a custom build of Android and is powered by Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon processor, as a "business-first product," noting that he began using it in earnest three months ago.
He said he has been using the device, which supports WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, for phone calls, texting, Web browsing and corporate e-mail and directory (that means Microsoft Exchange support).
For his demo, Garriques connected the Streak to a TV via the HDMI output slot and a docking station. This is a big deal for users who want to bring their TV content with them, but wish to watch it on a larger screen. He said the dock will ship with the Streak at no extra charge.
Garriques said Dell's goal with the Streak was to create a device that provided a satisfactory Web browsing experience that users could still store in their top pockets when they're on the go.
Not as full-bodied as an iPad and too big to be an effective smartphone, this hybrid device has caused some analysts to suggest that the Streak may have trouble finding traction in a market that demands definition.
Meanwhile, users will be able to buy the Streak in the United Kingdom through carrier O2 and at The Carphone Warehouse beginning June 5, and later in June at Dell.co.uk. Dell provided full specs for the Streak here.