Dell prepping for February smartphone launch?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The Wall Street Journal is weighing in on Dell's rumored smartphone offering, adding further weight to rumors predicting the PC maker will enter the arena to take on Apple's iPhone.



Citing sources familiar with Dell's plans, the financial paper reported the Round Rock, Texas-based company has an office in the Chicago area where a group of engineers have been working on the phone "for more than a year."



"They produced prototypes built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system and Microsoft's Windows Mobile software," said the report.



One model has a touchscreen with no physical keyboard, like the iPhone. Â*Another is a slider-style phone with a keypad that slides out from beneath the screen, like the Pre. Â*The report also notes Dell's recent hiring of two former Motorola employees.



"We haven't committed to anything," a Dell spokesman told the Journal, which concluded Dell hasn't finalized its plans and could still give up the effort without releasing a device.



Meanwhile, Kaufman Brothers' analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a research note released to clients today that the news is consistent with his supply chain checks and his own comments from earlier this month, predicting an entrance into the cell phone market for Dell as soon as mid-February.



Dell might make its announcement at the GSMA Mobile World Congress event (formerly 3GSM) in Barcelona, Wu said.



"We believe it makes sense for Dell and other PC makers to pursue more aggressive strategies in the smart phone space," Wu wrote. Â*"We believe smart phones are moving upstream into the notebook space. Â*Dell is the latest PC vendor to enter the market...So far, only Apple has made material inroads."



The analyst reiterated his warning that Dell will need to stand out from the crowded market in order to succeed, recommending the company use its own operating system because "most of the other players use the same software, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and/or Google Android, leaving little room for innovation."



Dell, like Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm and the anticipated yet unreleased Palm Pre, faces a formidable opponent in the iPhone 3G. Â*Last quarter saw the Apple device outsell the Storm four-to-one.



Since going on sale last summer, the iPhone 3G has sold more than 4.3 million units in the United States. Â*Recent signs also point to a major update to the iPhone in June, possibly making it that much more difficult for any competitor to gain headway in the sector.



The Wall Street Journal also reported Hewlett-Packard is selling phones in Europe with an automatic backup feature, while Acer is planning to join Lenovo in the smartphone marketplace as well. Â*Together, the iPhone and BlackBerry control 70% of the U.S. market.



This is a critical time for Dell to find a "hit", as the company is losing PC market share, including a 0.9 percent year-over-year decline last quarter. Â*Shares of the company's stock have fallen 60 percent since August.



For more information on Dell's rumored smartphone and how the company is evolving, please refer to AppleInsider's previous report.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;



    Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.



    Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'
  • Reply 2 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    The analyst reiterated his warning that Dell will need to stand out from the crowded market in order to succeed, recommending the company use its own operating system because "most of the other players use the same software, including Windows Mobile, Symbian, and/or Google Android, leaving little room for innovation."







    What's funnier, the idea of Dell making hardware that can compete with the iPhone, or the idea of them building a competitive OS from scratch?
  • Reply 3 of 47
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    It is a waste of time for Dell to enter the market. They don't have much going for them beyond desktops, laptops, and servers. If they really want in on the market they should merge with Motorola for instant marketshare and credibility.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;



    Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.



    Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'



    Maybe their strategy is to assemble dirt-cheap phones using "dirt-free" android. In the new economy, this might work fairly well, though it would occupy a mostly different market space from the iPhone.



    I do agree that an attempt to go head to head with Apple is a fool's errand just about anybody, but for Dell especially so.
  • Reply 5 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    It is a waste of time for Dell to enter the market. They don't have much going for them beyond desktops, laptops, and servers. If they really want in on the market they should merge with Motorola for instant marketshare and credibility.



    I disagree. As much as I think most Dell products are crap, they sell quite well overall so I guess people either like crap or disagree with the idea that Dell only makes crap.



    If the computer market is moving to a new, smaller, mobile form factor, possibly even a new platform as many are supposing lately, then Dell needs to be in that market to survive. To stay in position as the maker of what are possibly soon to be "old fashioned" desktops means gradual obsolescence.



    One could argue that because they are a crap company they will ultimately fail at this new segment and for that reason shouldn't even try, but from their point of view it makes sense. They don't themselves believe that they are crap computer makers and probably think their chances are good.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post


    What's funnier, the idea of Dell making hardware that can compete with the iPhone, or the idea of them building a competitive OS from scratch?



    Funniest is the idea that Shaw Wu believes they could just whip out a competitive OS and

    that people still consider him knowledgeable enough to invest based upon his advice.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Call it the iTooPhone. Or, before the whole company joins the parade of layoffs and bankruptcies, take the snarky advice you once so famously gave to Apple: "Liquidate the company's assets and return them to investors." Payback's a bitch, Michael.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Dell may have many dogs out there, but they do occasionally make a decent machine. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they were working on a netbook with 3G connectivity. Dell does portables already, and people are pushing for smaller, more portable machines to connect to the web. A wirelessly connected laptop with full computing capabilities could be very appealing to the consumer market. Dell would not still be around if they never understood the needs of the consumer.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I disagree. As much as I think most Dell products are crap, they sell quite well overall so I guess people either like crap or disagree with the idea that Dell only makes crap.



    If the computer market is moving to a new, smaller, mobile form factor, possibly even a new platform as many are supposing lately, then Dell needs to be in that market to survive. To stay in position as the maker of what are possibly soon to be "old fashioned" desktops means gradual obsolescence.



    One could argue that because they are a crap company they will ultimately fail at this new segment and for that reason shouldn't even try, but from their point of view it makes sense. They don't themselves believe that they are crap computer makers and probably think their chances are good.



    I agree. They have certainly decided to allocate more resources to the look of their products (as shown with the Dell lightweight laptop Adamo). More and more companies are only beginning now to see the power of design has on business.



    Whether or not this becomes part of Dell's corporate culture remains to be seen. They are by and large still a volume vendor and probably has an offshoot 'premium design' division.



    Apple has long invested design and it's ingrained into their DNA. Apple is the moving target but competitor are using them as their benchmark. It's no longer only Redmond but it's 'everyone, start your photocopiers'
  • Reply 10 of 47
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?



    Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    The iPhone was the logical outgrowth of the iPod.



    Thus, the Dell Phone should be called the "Dell DJ Phone." It will build on the success of the Dell DJ.



    By the way, Mike, how's that Dell DJ working out for ya?
  • Reply 12 of 47
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    I do agree that an attempt to go head to head with Apple is a fool's errand just about anybody, but for Dell especially so.



    They really only need to be better than the smartphones being offered by ATT's competitors (in the US). Verizon now has a greater marketshare than ATT. A certain percentage of those people, myself included, would never switch to ATT. So until Apple offers an iPhone for Verizon (or other non-ATT carrier), for a lot of people Dell really only needs to compete with non-Apple phones.



    That said, I don't think Dell could compete effectively against those other manufacturers, either. Not unless they are willing to invest a lot of money and be willing to take a loss on the first couple of Dell phones they create as they figure out how to do it right.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post


    The iPhone was the logical outgrowth of the iPod.



    Thus, the Dell Phone should be called the "Dell DJ Phone." It will build on the success of the Dell DJ.



    By the way, Mike, how's that Dell DJ working out for ya?



    That's exactly what I was thinking. Haven't they been down this road before and ended up with some less than amazing (to put it mildly) results?
  • Reply 14 of 47
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,454member
    So is this finally going to be the iPhone killer that all the trolls on Mac forums have been waiting for?
  • Reply 15 of 47
    "Shares of the company's stock have fallen 60 percent since August."



    Everyone's stocks have fallen 60% since August, including Apple's. The slide in the stock market has affected everyone. This remark is used carelessly. (Not that I don't think of Dell as intrinsically overpriced, since they have no product to justify any stock value higher than it is at currently.)



    I am regretfully typing this post on a Dell computer at work. Pray for me.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post


    Use their own operating system???!! Exactly what operating system would that be then?



    Mobile OS/2: It runs WinMo better than WinMo!



    Quote:

    Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.



    True, but he gets paid for saying shit like that. You don't.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    They should abandon this and continue doing what they're average at;



    Assembling dirt cheap PC parts (intellectually created by other people) and designing nasty plastic cases (aesthetically mimicking the designs of others) to put them in.



    Dell is a decade to late to start playing 'boutique electronics manufacturer'





    Exactly! Hit the nail on the head! Thank goodness for Apple!



    Dell wants to be part of this list.....



    Largest Software Company: MS & what do they make? Crap!



    Largest Restaurant Chain: MacDonald's & what do they make? Crap!



    Largest Beverage Company: Coke & what do they make? Crap!



    Largest Auto Company: GM & what do they make? Crap!



    Largest Beverage Company: Coke & what do they make? Crap!







    Don't get me wrong. The US is the best country in the world! After Thailand!



    Have a great weekend Kasper and thanks for you hard work!
  • Reply 18 of 47
    They did it before with groundbreaking features.



    Lets see what they come up with in 2009



    Don't bash unless you know!





    Everyone bashed Apple before they came out.
  • Reply 19 of 47
    daseindasein Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post


    Wu is complete and utter fuck-wit.



    Don't you just love the English language?
  • Reply 20 of 47
    In my view, given Dell's market position and technology resources, their smartphone needs to AT WORST be better than the original iPhone to not be a joke. Remember, it has now been two years since the iPhone was announced. It should not take two years to copy something in a mediocre way.



    Instead of being an also-ran or following someone else's lead, what if one of these massive generic manufacturing companies sacrificed a good chunk of their profit in the attempt to develop something truly remarkable for their consumers that helps the market to evolve rather than just fatten. Or maybe they already do, and they just keep failing at it?

    It's a little depressing to see these companies, one-by-one reveal their denial about their lack of relevance, innovation and talent.
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