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Dell confirms plans to go mobile

The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 has embedded WiMAX

PC manufacturer Dell has finally confirmed plans to make a play for the mobile space, although the focus might be more on mobile devices than mobile handsets.

At a Dell analyst event held late Tuesday, Ron Garriques, head of the company’s consumer division, said that the telco channel is the next market the company will address.

When Dell poached Garriques in 2007 he was then Motorola’s handset guru, and rumours suggested that part of Garriques’ role would be to smooth Dell’s transition into the fiercely competitive mobile space.

Dell made its name by building customised PCs, which it sold direct and it has been suggested the company could use its expertise to good effect in the handset space.

But Garriques was very vague in just how Dell might go about exploiting that opportunity.

“Operators want us to create a set of products that work together with a common user interface as well as operator services,” Garriques said. “Operators don’t care how we execute that strategy, they just want us to be the integrator, providing an end to end solution that supports LTE or WiMAX.”

Garriques hinted that portable devices, perhaps netbooks or somesuch, might be the channel Dell focuses on, and the mention of a standard user interface has got tongues wagging about Android.

“We’re really onto the 3G to 4G transition now, and consumers are looking for up to 16″ displays on portable devices  Carriers want end to end solutions, bundled with software that makes everything work,” he said.

Garriques said Dell is targeting the top three or four operators worldwide to see what their needs are, because there are “massive needs that are not being met at present.” The company might also look to Chinese or Taiwanese manufacturers to build the device and just put their own branding on them, he hinted.

However, Garriques also revealed some perhaps blind optimism about the company’s latest move. “The late entrants to the handset space have done very well,” he said, presumably referencing Apple. “The door is open and they have just walked in.”

He also hinted at plans to target the Chinese market:  “In China TD-SCDMA is big but there are not enough suppliers of devices,” he said. But there are some industry pundits that might argue that TD-SCDMA is not going to be big in China, which is why there are few suppliers of devices.

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One comment

  1. lfllmg 27/07/2009 @ 6:05 pm

    What Dell (and the industry for that matter) needs is a radically new way to browse on the go. How about a tablet with WebOS or Android? A snoozer netbook with 4G from Dell will not only be late, but, well, just a netbook with 4G.

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