Computer maker Dell has long been tiptoeing around the smartphone market, but reportedly U.S. carriers have been less than impressed with Dell’s efforts. One result is that Dell decided to make its smartphone debut in China, and now the company has apparently rolled out its first entry on China Mobile, the Mini3i.
According to the Chinese blog Netease the Mini3i sports a 3.5-inch 640 by 360 touchscreen with a virtual keyboard, mini-USB connectivity, microSD storage, and a 3.2 megapixel camera. The phone apparently runs a version of Android customized by China Mobile. Although exact specs aren’t provided in Netease’s coverage, one thing seems clear: the Mini3i does not include Wi-Fi, and offers only 2G connectivity. The Mini3i will also support China Mobile’s new Mobile Market application store, which will carry apps for phones by a variety of handset makers, including LG, Samsung, and Nokia.
There are no details on when China Mobile plans to launch the Mini3i in China, or whether the handset might make it to other markets. Industry reports have Dell working with China Mobile on additional mobile devices, although no specifics information or product details have been mentioned; Dell hasn’t publicly commented on any of its mobile plans.
If Dell were to try to market the Mini3i in outside of China, it would certainly have to beef up the phone’s specs to compete with the likes of the iPhone and Blackberry devices—smartphone users in the U.S. and many other international markets will demand 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, and GPS features.
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