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Dell kills its 5" Android tablet as ABI searches for success among tablet failures

post #1 of 96
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While Google hoped its Android platform could take on the iPad this year, its licensees are finding it difficult to even compete with Apple on the low end. On example, Dell's Streak 5 (aka Mini 5), has just been discontinued, but that hasn't stopped marketing companies like ABI Research from insisting that Android is still a thriving tablet competitor.

The end of a losing Streak

Dell introduced the Streak 5 (originally named Mini 5), a hybrid small tablet/smartphone in May 2010, with both a 5 inch display and 3G calling features that placed it somewhere between Apple's iPod touch and iPad.

"I've been at Dell for 16 years, and I don't think there's ever been more buzz around a single Dell product than this," wrote Lionel Menchaca, chief blogger for the Round Rock, Texas, company at its release. "In my view, that's for good reason. Hardware and design-wise, this thing impresses. Add the ever-increasing capability that Android brings to the equation, and you've got a mobile device that offers a ton of flexibility while looking cool in the process."

The Streak 5 originally shipped with Android 1.6, but was updated to Android 2.1 (incurring the wrath of customers who complained about the over the air update adding bugs and taking away existing software features) and finally Android 2.2 Froyo last winter. It will not be possible to upgrade to Android 3.0 Honeycomb or the forthcoming Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Dell's use of Android on the Mini/Streak line signaled a new effort by the PC maker to evaluate the use of software platforms independently of its long term partnership with Microsoft. The company still sells its 7 inch Streak, and continues to offer both an Android 2.2 "Venue" smartphone and a "Venue Pro" model that runs Windows Phone 7.

The company describes the discontinuation of the Streak 5 as the end of "a great ride" on its website.



Searching for signs of life in the non-iPad tablet market

Over the past year, marketing companies, including IDC and Gartner, gerrymandered together a variety of devices including the iPod touch-like Streak 5 into a "media tablet" market (defined as having at least a 5 inch screen) to exclude comparisons to the already entrenched sales of the 3.5 inch iPod touch.

It was hoped that the comparison of all these tablet-like devices shipping from all vendors combined could at least add up to a something that mounted a challenge to Apple's 9.7 inch iPad.

Over the last winter, IDC and Garner suggested that Android had taken a 20 percent share of this "media tablet market," which excluded sales of the iPod touch as well as ebook readers and other severely "de-featured" products that also ran Android.

Mini tablets fail to distort Steve Jobs' reality field

Just months before, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs had panned competitors' 5 to 7 inch tablets as "tweeners" and quipped that small form-factor tablets will need to ship with sandpaper so users can file down their fingers to the point where they can hit smaller targets on the screen. Elements within tablet-oriented apps can only get so small before users can't perform these types of touch and pinch gestures, Jobs insisted.

Noting that all tablet users already have a mobile smartphone, Jobs indicated that tablets need to be big enough to be differentiated from mobile devices in terms of features. "No tablet can compete with mobility of a smartphone. Pocket size tablets are tweeners," Jobs said; too big for a smartphone and not big enough to work well as a tablet.

Jobs called mini tablets "dead on arrival," and predicted that "manufacturers will realize they're too small and abandon them next year. They'll then increase the size, abandoning the customers and developers who bought into the smaller format."

ABI folds more tablet devices into competition with iPad

ABI Research, the same firm that described the iPhone as a "high-end feature phone" and not a smartphone back in 2007, and which previous to that generated sensationalist headlines that claimed 58 percent of iPod users were likely to buy Microsoft's Zune, is back again to suggest that Android has "taken" 20 percent tablet market share from Apple's iPad over the past year.

"Android media tablets have collectively taken 20% market share away from the iPad in the last 12 months," ABI stated in a press release, which also suggested that the company was counting a wide variety of devices beyond what one might identify as iPad competitors.

"Googles Android OS has no less than three different software builds deployed across media tablets at the same time," the company stated, indicating that it wasn't just counting modern Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but also folding in what it called "de-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011."

While expanding the definition of "tablet," ABI's new figure of 20 percent market share is actually smaller than the tablet share credited to Android by Gartner and IDC at the beginning of 2011 based on sales from the end of last year, making it hard to see where the growth in Android tablets is occurring.

Blogger Marco Arment has performed his own market comparison of non-iPad tablets to "obscure game consoles," noting that "I didnt include the iPads approximately 30 million units on here because it distorted the graphs scale too much."

post #2 of 96
Also in breaking news, Spring cancels its 4G Playbook

http://thisismynext.com/2011/08/12/b...nceled-sprint/
post #3 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The company describes the discontinuation of the Streak 5 as the end of "a great ride" on its website.

The only telltale sign of the Streak's success were the really long skid marks on the.. err... "pavement".

I just crack up how they chest-thump on introduction, and squirrel away quietly into the night hoping no one will call them on their failure. The Streak was DOA on arrival.
post #4 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The company describes the discontinuation of the Streak 5 as the end of "a great ride" on its website.

Sort of like a toboggan - all downhill.
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post #5 of 96
I'd love to know just how many of these they sold, and just how much they lost on it..
post #6 of 96
Is it time to sell Dell's assets and distribute the proceeds to their shareholders?

In case you don't remember, here's Mr. Dell's famous quote about Apple circa 1997:

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders," Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives.

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post #7 of 96
I think it is neat that even when ABI goes to absurd lengths to define what a tablet is, they still can not do much to the iPads lead. What a weird game theyplay.
post #8 of 96
Dell's real problem was using Android and also relying on Microsoft. Dell should have turned to the Linux community to create a better software system. It would have been closer to iOS than Android.

Programmers are already experimenting with Linux on tablets. Eventually there will be a good free OS that will work better than Android that can be installed on tablets. Once one of them takes off, Android will be in trouble if they don't fix their OS so it can be easily updated by all of their customers. That is one reason I don't want to purchase an Android device.

Dell really needs to keep the design around in its labs and update the technology even if they don't sell one right now. Eventually they'll need that experience to put into a functioning miniature tablet. Tablets large and small are the future of computing. Microsoft has proven that they aren't the right company for the job. Dell had better start thinking beyond the next product cycle and either create their own OS or partner with someone who has a better OS.

Apple created their own ecosystem when they were a smaller company. Dell should have the capability to do it too. HP has taken the step with WebOS. The writing is on the wall for Microsoft's domination of the home OS market to end.
post #9 of 96
Who would have thought that a phone that was too big to go in your pocket and too small as tablet would not sell.....
post #10 of 96
Well, the Streak could have never been but a niche device because of its large screen. It took me quite a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I hope that Dell come up with a successor, I'd never consider a phone with much smaller screen. I wouldn't change it for anything when it comes to casual surfing, Netflix, or games... Plus, the design of this thing is stunning...

Sent from my cherry red Streak.
post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Well, the Streak could have never been but a niche device because of its large screen. It took me quite a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I hope that Dell come up with a successor, I'd never consider a phone with much smaller screen. I wouldn't change it for anything when it comes to casual surfing, Netflix, or games... Plus, the design of this thing is stunning...

Sent from my cherry red Streak.

If Dell intended to make another 5inch smartphone, don't you think they'd be launching it at the same time that they demised the Streak? It was a monumental failure, there will be no successor.
post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

If Dell intended to make another 5inch smartphone, don't you think they'd be launching it at the same time that they demised the Streak? It was a monumental failure, there will be no successor.

If Dell's business logic was as sound as yours, they wouldn't have launched the Streak in the first place I just hope they do another similar mistake, and I think it's not very unlikely...
post #13 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Well, the Streak could have never been but a niche device because of its large screen. It took me quite a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I hope that Dell come up with a successor, I'd never consider a phone with much smaller screen. I wouldn't change it for anything when it comes to casual surfing, Netflix, or games... Plus, the design of this thing is stunning...

The biggest problem is that there are no customers.

The 5" and 7" devices are failing in the market because people aren't buying them (or those who are quickly return them).
post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The biggest problem is that there are no customers.

The 5" and 7" devices are failing in the market because people aren't buying them (or those who are quickly return them).

I'm not sure that's quite true. The 7inch Nook color has probably outsold all the 10inch android tablets combined - so possibly the problem isn't the form factor, maybe it's just Android.
post #15 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

I'm not sure that's quite true. The 7inch Nook color has probably outsold all the 10inch android tablets combined - so possibly the problem isn't the form factor, maybe it's just Android.

Or maybe 7" is OK for an ereader, but not for a tablet?
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post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Dell's real problem was using Android and also relying on Microsoft. Dell should have turned to the Linux community to create a better software system. It would have been closer to iOS than Android.

You give the Linux community ability to create software for the masses way too much credit.

While there are some great linux apps out there, the collaboration to create something as complex as a general tablet OS for a huge market is simply not there. The mess it would make is unimaginable. Too many players, with different ideas, all implementing half-baked solutions, only to quickly move on to the next five-minute attention-fix and forget what they were doing.

No thank you.
post #17 of 96
Another one bites the dust. The non-iPad tablet graveyard is growing larger every day, it's starting to get quite crowded. The latest news from the grapevine is that they don't even bother burying them anymore, they just quickly cremate the remains.
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Or maybe 7" is OK for an ereader, but not for a tablet?

Well I think it depends on whether you're a one tablet kinda guy, montabulous? monobletlous? If I'm sitting on the sofa reading I'd want a 10inch, watching a movie on a plane - probably 10inch. Crammed on the tube, definitely 7inch. Lying in bed reading, 7inch.

I think if Apple made a 7inch tablet we might find out that there are more polytabulous types out there than people imagine, but we won't find out otherwise - because anybody with enough money to be polytabulous probably has enough taste to use iOS.

Hmm, by this neologism I guess Android tab owners are the craptabulous
post #19 of 96
Steve Jobs makes me laugh. The resolution of the 3.5" iPhone (640x960) is almost as high as the resolution of the 9.7" iPad (768x1024). Do people have to file down their fingers to pencil points to use the iPhone? Of course not.

There is no reason why a smaller device isn't feasible. It would simply have to display more information than a phone, but less than a tablet. Interface elements would remain the same size.

It's probably true that there's no room in the market for a "tweener" device now. Apple maximizes profit by getting each customer to buy multiple devices. They are way better off if everyone buys both an iPhone and an iPad than they would be if everyone just bought the fictional 6" iNotePad.

In an alternate universe everyone has a 6" hand-held device and a thin, light notebook computer instead of an iPhone and iPad. I wish I lived in that universe.
post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

Sent from my cherry red Streak.

A bloody stool is not good. You need to see your doctor immediately!
post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenC View Post

A bloody stool is not good. You need to see your doctor immediately!



Ok, they really need to add some more emoticons for times like this
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenC View Post

A bloody stool is not good. You need to see your doctor immediately!

LOL Good one. The only Streak this thing left was one in Dell's pants.

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post #23 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Steve Jobs makes me laugh. The resolution of the 3.5" iPhone (640x960) is almost as high as the resolution of the 9.7" iPad (768x1024). Do people have to file down their fingers to pencil points to use the iPhone? Of course not.

Context, context, context. You need to take Steve's comment in the context it was given. The compromises people will accept for a mobile phone are different than the ones they'll accept for a full-size screen. You already have a cellphone, having another device with a small screen, but not quite as portable makes little sense.

Further, the buttons on an iPhone or iPad are sized appropriately, regardless of screen size.
post #24 of 96
Interesting spin to say Android tablets have "taken away" 20% market share "from" the iPad. As if to imply the iPad's popularity is on the decline (it's not, but trolls will spin ). If Windows tablets and those UMPCs (project origami) where 100% of the tablet market before the iPad, then using the same logic, the iPad has "taken away" 1900% of the tablet market "from" the Windows tablets.

Of course, it's misleading to say that. New tablets are expanding the tablet market, not solely taking percentages away from existing players. If you need a Windows tablet, you'll probably still buy one. So what's the story with ABI? Are they in league with The Google? Or just shameless fanboys like Consumer Reports? Or just plain idiots?

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post #25 of 96
When the streak launched, no one cared. When it failed, no one was surprised. Dell used to make quality computers for consumers... Now they churn out as much crap as possible. I long for the day when this company goes under.
post #26 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

The biggest problem is that there are no customers.

The 5" and 7" devices are failing in the market because people aren't buying them (or those who are quickly return them).

We'll soon find out if the 7" tabs can get any traction (other than the Nook).

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is about to hit the shelves... complete with Honeycomb... but will it run with ICS.
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post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Dell's real problem was using Android and also relying on Microsoft. Dell should have turned to the Linux community to create a better software system. It would have been closer to iOS than Android.

Programmers are already experimenting with Linux on tablets. Eventually there will be a good free OS that will work better than Android that can be installed on tablets. Once one of them takes off, Android will be in trouble if they don't fix their OS so it can be easily updated by all of their customers. That is one reason I don't want to purchase an Android device. ...

Wow.

Do you realise how crazy this sounds? You are completely delusional. Please go back to the early 90's.

You do realise that after 10 or 15 years of predicting how Linux was going to do this exact same thing with the desktop, that it failed to even make the slightest dent in desktop OS's sales? That consumers purposely avoided it en masse? And that the original iPad (in just a few months after it's release!) *passed* all desktop Linux installations in terms of global market share?

Linux is great for servers and for geeks but those behind the design of it have about as much chance of making a consumer friendly operating system as a snowball in Hades.

There isn't any evidence whatsoever that anything more than the tiniest subset of consumers have ever wanted to use Linux for anything. In fact there are mountains of evidence to the contrary. There isn't any evidence that any variety of Linux or any GUI ever produced for it, has ever been even considered more than marginally user friendly by the general public, let alone *easier* to use than the alternatives.

The standards of success in the new mobile platform wars are usability and ease of use.
These are the same two things that Linux has always been the worst at.
post #28 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

We'll soon find out if the 7" tabs can get any traction (other than the Nook).

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is about to hit the shelves... complete with Honeycomb... but will it run with ICS.

Actually, we already know how 7" tablets do. Poorly. The public seems to be accepting of 7" e-book readers, but not 7" general purpose tablets.

What we will soon find out is if the general public considers the Acer tab to be any different than the panned 7" tablets from other producers.

There is no indication that hardware specs nor pricing are influencing media tablet sales. As with MP3 players, cost competition appears to be a non-factor in the media tablet market. One can buy a 4GB MP3 player for $25, half the price of a 2GB iPod shuffle ($49). And yet the iPods dominate the market.
post #29 of 96
Here"s the deal. Apple has once again created a far superior user experience, only this time Apple has there wherewithal to protect it"s intellectual property. Competition gets more difficult when a proper copyright makes it so difficult to usurp.

Plus, Apple has the content media and the App developers in their pocket.

I really don"t see how anyone can compete, now or even in the distant future...
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The only telltale sign of the Streak's success were the really long skid marks on the.. err... "pavement".

I just crack up how they chest-thump on introduction, and squirrel away quietly into the night hoping no one will call them on their failure. The Streak was DOA on arrival.

Completely agree. Dell is just full of great ideas. The Streak, a computer with switchable top plates... pure gold!

P.S. For future reference, DOA stands for "Dead On Arrival", so it's pretty redundant to say "DOA on arrival". Just looking out for ya
post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Actually, we already know how 7" tablets do. Poorly. The public seems to be accepting of 7" e-book readers, but not 7" general purpose tablets.

What we will soon find out is if the general public considers the Acer tab to be any different than the panned 7" tablets from other producers.

There is no indication that hardware specs nor pricing are influencing media tablet sales. As with MP3 players, cost competition appears to be a non-factor in the media tablet market. One can buy a 4GB MP3 player for $25, half the price of a 2GB iPod shuffle ($49). And yet the iPods dominate the market.

I tend to agree with you... but they keep trying.

I would imagine the various manufacturers will keep throwing them at the wall hoping that one of them will eventually stick.
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post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Completely agree. Dell is just full of great ideas. The Streak, a computer with switchable top plates... pure gold!

P.S. For future reference, DOA stands for "Dead On Arrival", so it's pretty redundant to say "DOA on arrival". Just looking out for ya

LOL out loud.
post #33 of 96
the accurate headline for that ABI BS "analysis" would be: "iPad takes 80% of tablet market in 16 months while making that market 10x bigger than before too."

what whores.

but yeah, the iPad will wind up with "just" 70% of the market long term, like the iPod, because all the world's OEM's have to keep flooding the market with lower priced crap to stay alive in a race to the bottom.

I do wish, tho that Apple would offer a 5.5" iPod touch running the iPhone OS. it would be a killer game player with screen mirroring via Apple TV.
post #34 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

LOL out loud.

Well played, good sir! Well played.
post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Is it time to sell Dell's assets and distribute the proceeds to their shareholders?

In case you don't remember, here's Mr. Dell's famous quote about Apple circa 1997:

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders," Michael Dell said before a crowd of several thousand IT executives.

That comment was taken out of context.

https://plus.google.com/113901041381...ts/bTrnjUmnPuv
post #36 of 96
Quote:
While Google hoped its Android platform could take on the iPad this year, its licensees are finding it difficult to even compete with Apple on the low end. On example, Dell's Streak 5 (aka Mini 5), has just been discontinued, but that hasn't stopped marketing companies like ABI Research from insisting that Android is still a thriving tablet competitor.

The thing was EOL, as it came out like last year.

Horrible execution on it, outdated software, and locked to att pretty much sealed its demise.
post #37 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

The thing was EOL, as it came out like last year.

Horrible execution on it, outdated software, and locked to att pretty much sealed its demise.

all the 2010 Android tabs were total POS. should never have been put on the market.
post #38 of 96
It's becoming apparent what 2011 will be the year of.
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post #39 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Well played, good sir! Well played.

Or, as they say in Britain these days - that's a riot!
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

That comment was taken out of context.

https://plus.google.com/113901041381...ts/bTrnjUmnPuv

That's BS. Read the thread - Dell is dancing around and trying to pretend that "it was a non-answer".

Sorry, Michael, it was an answer - and an incredibly stupid one. Just admit that you made a mistake and stop making a fool of yourself.
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