Michael Dell suggested during a Hong Kong event that developers are finding Microsoft's smartphone platform easier than Google Android when it comes to creating apps and other software. But the Dell CEO also had kind words for Android, which powers some of his company's tablet offerings and competes against rival Apple.
"What's interesting about the smartphone space is how it's changing into a more open-modular system," Dell said, according to a Nov. 2 Reuters report. "It's staggering that Android has now surpassed Apple in terms of originations and this is happening at a much, much faster rate than what folks had envisioned."
Microsoft hopes its Windows Phone 7 devices will prove a hit with consumers who would otherwise chose a Google Android smartphone or an Apple iPhone. Part of its strategy involves enticing developers to create games and productivity apps for the platform. Microsoft's app marketplace is reportedly stocked with 1,000 apps, a few days before the smartphones launch first in the United States on AT&T.
In related mobile news, Dell also predicted that his company would debut a variety of new tablet PCs in 2011. Its offerings already include the 5-inch Dell Streak, powered by Google Android, which sells for $299 with a two-year contract and $549.99 unlocked. Like many of its tablet competitors entering the market, the Streak comes equipped with front- and rear-facing cameras for video conferencing; however, some analysts have cited its smaller screen-size as potentially weighing down sales.
"We're going to have a significant number of new tablets in the next year," Dell reportedly told the audience. "There're lots of debate about the size of the market, who's buying these devices, and those questions always emerge when there's a new form-factor."
Michael Dell previously unveiled a 7-inch Android tablet Sept. 22 at Oracle OpenWorld, but details about its cost or release date remain scarce.
"Dell's reputation and distribution channels certainly position it to be a contender in the media tablet market, but in terms of execution the devil will be in the details, few of which have been announced," IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian said in September.
Whether or not the Streak can succeed in a tablet market crowded with competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple iPad, Dell believes it can profit from a burgeoning market for the servers and hardware that support those devices' data demands.
"There has to be servers and storage to support all the data that is being pulled by users and this is an exciting opportunity for us," Michael Dell told financial analysts during a summer conference hosted by the company.
His most recent pronouncement about Dell tablets in 2011, though, runs contrary to a September report that the company would launch the 7-inch Streak "within the next few weeks." That report came from The Wall Street Journal, which quoted Dell Greater China President Amit Midha as saying the 7-incher would launch "very, very soon."