Is Dell Really Tinkering with an Android Mobile Device?
Dell may or may not be working on a mobile Internet device that may or may
not use ARM-based chips, according to The Wall Street Journal.
People who saw early prototypes said it would run Google's Android operating system, while other witnesses said Dell may begin selling the device later this year, or else the plan "could be delayed or scrapped entirely," the Journal reported.
In March, speaking at Computerworld in Tokyo, Michael Dell confirmed that his company was working on a smaller form-factor device. "It is true that we are exploring smaller-screen devices. We don't have any announcements to share today, but stay tuned, as when we have new news we will share that with you," he told an audience.
Days earlier, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers had written in a research note that Dell created a smartphone, but carriers didn't find it distinct enough to want to invest in. In April, Reuters reported that Chinese carriers were interested, and Dell would release an Android smartphone there in the second quarter of 2009, though this has yet to happen.
The Journal additionally reported that sources said Dell began developing the device in 2008, after it ditched an effort to compete against Apple in the music-player space and then transferred the energies of those engineers to the device-whether smartphone or MID.
Dell is also said to be considering selling the mystery device through a cellular carrier partner.
The speculation is a popular one, as on June 29 an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets wrote that Nokia also has a Google Android, ARM-based netbook or MID in development, which it, too, would release through a carrier partner.