Last night The Wall Street Journal ran a piece claiming that Dell is set to enter the smartphone business as soon as next month. The paper reported that Dell is eyeing Windows Mobile and Android.Rumors of a smartphone from Dell have been on-again / off-again for nigh two years. This time, the WSJ is citing sources "familiar with the matter" who say that Dell has been working in secret for the last year on new smartphone products. According to them, Dell has built prototypes using both Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform and Google's Android platform.
The WSJ writes, "Dell is focusing on so-called smartphones, higher-end devices that include features like Web browsing and e-mail. One model includes a touchscreen but no physical keyboard, like Apple Inc.'s iPhone. Another is a slider-style phone with a keypad and that slides from beneath the screen." It didn't say which device was running which mobile platform.
We've heard this rumor so many times, if it were any other publication, I'd write it off. The timing is right, though. The time it takes to develop a smartphone runs 18 to 24 months. That's about the same amount of time that these rumors have been swirling around. The Mobile World Congress event is being held in Barcelona next month. It is one of the largest trade shows in the cellular phone business in the world. It would be the perfect stage for Dell to introduce a new product.
Will it? The WSJ seems to think so. I'll be at the event, so if it happens, I'll be there to report firsthand.