Dell Streak Android 2.2 Update Arriving Mid-January

Dell's Streak will receive its Android 2.2 update in mid-January, at least for those who own AT&T SIM-locked versions of the hybrid tablet PC-smartphone.

AT&T Dell Streak owners in the United States, take heart: your update to Android 2.2 (Froyo) is "hopefully" arriving in mid-January. For months, users have questioned when the 5-inch tablet PC, released earlier this year running Android 1.6, would receive the operating-system upgrade.

"We continue to roll out the over-the-air update to Streak devices outside the United States since we started the process last month," Lionel Menchaca, a spokesperson for Dell, wrote in a Dec. 9 posting on the Direct2Dell corporate blog. "The reality is that there are a lot of moving parts in the mobile space. Offering a product like Streak means working with multiple carriers in multiple regions. Many times that translates into multiple timetables."
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Those customers who purchased the Streak for $299 through AT&T can expect to receive that Android 2.2 update within the coming weeks. Dell first announced the upgrade in mid-November, with a roadmap that saw unlocked Streaks receiving Android 2.2 after that date. A Nov. 15 corporate blog post suggested that Streaks locked to a specific carrier would receive the updates later in December, "as we work with our carrier partners for technical approval." A new January target, of course, represents a slight pushback from that original date.
"Customers in the United States who own AT&T SIM-locked versions of the phone will hopefully begin seeing the Froyo update sometime next month," Menchaca added. "In the meantime, we continue to work with AT&T to push this through."

Dell recently sent eWEEK a Streak installed with Android 2.2, albeit without a SIM card. The device's 5-inch screen and 7.7-ounce form-factor may prove a bit too cumbersome for users in the market for a smartphone, and too small for those looking for a pure tablet PC. Nonetheless, Android 2.2 runs on the device with similar smoothness to rival devices, and those who want a smaller tablet-with the ability to place the occasional phone call-could very well find the Streak suits their needs. Dell offers the Streak for $550 unlocked.

In a September presentation at Oracle OpenWorld, CEO Michael Dell offered a sneak peek at a 7-inch tablet PC. That device could appear on store shelves in 2011, although the Dell remains tight-lipped about exact release dates and prices. In addition to the tablets themselves, Dell has suggested his company could also profit from the new market segment's increased need for servers and other hardware.

"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," he told an audience during a summer conference for financial analysts.