After a underwhelming reception from U.S. carriers, reports have Dell planning to enter the smartphone market in China.
Earlier this year, industry reports had Dell getting ready to take on the likes of Apple and BlackBerry with its own line of Windows Mobile and Android smartphones—and while speculation had Dell introducing the phones in February at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, no announcements came, and industry reports had U.S. carriers underwhelmed by the devices, claiming they did little to differentiate themselves from the rest of the smartphone market.
However, Dell doesn’t appear to be ready to pack up its smartphones and go home: instead, Reuters is reporting that Dell is making plans to launch its smartphones in China rather than in the North American market. Citing two analysts speaking on conditions of anonymity, Dell is reportedly working on handsets with Taiwan’s Chi Mei Communications, with Chinese software maker Red Office working on the phone’s operating system—although there’s no word if the operating system is a new creation or a patina over Windows Mobile or Android. Dell apparently plans to launch the phones in China, then bring them to European and North American markets later.
Chi Mei already counts Dell as a client; Red Office has apparently confirmed it is working on a smartphone OS for Dell.
Earlier reports had Dell targeting a smartphone launch for the third quarter of 2009; Goldman Sachs recently projected the company would launch its first Android phone in the second quarter of 2009.
Dell’s move into the smartphone marketplace follows on the heels of PC maker Acer partnering with Garmin on a series smartphones; of course, both companies are going up against heavyweights in the mobile industry, including Nokia, RIM, HTC, and Apple.