Dell enters US smartphone market with AT&T

Natalie Apostolou and Nicole McCormick
08 Jan 2010



PC giant Dell has officially confirmed its entry into the crowded smartphone market in the US, announcing that it will launch a device this year based on Android software and using AT&T’s wireless network.


At the same time, US vendor Motorola has unveiled its second Android-powered smartphone, the Motorola Backflip.


AT&T said recently that it will launch five new and exclusive devices from Dell, HTC and Motorola based on the Android platform.


According to the carrier, the devices are all scheduled to be available during the first half of 2010.


For Dell, the move into the US smartphone market is a significant step for the PC giant and follows a three-year transformation attempt, which has involved corporate reorganizations and negotiations with hardware makers, software developers and cellular carriers.


AT&T however is yet to reveal pricing or the actual launch date of Dell’s new Mini 3 device.


The announcement follows similar deals the Dell has struck with mobile carriers in China and Brazil.


Meanwhile at CES in Las Vegas, Motorola announced the launch of its latest Android smartphone, the Motorola Backflip.


Following the launch of Cliq, the Blackflip device includes a new Backtrack feature, which is basically a touchpanel located on the other side of the device, behind the display panel. The company highlighted that this feature offers a new way to scroll through services on the device, in addition to the traditional touchscreen and the keyboard.


The Backflip also supports Android version 1.5 (upgradable to version 2.x) and will be launched in Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe 1Q10. Pricing details are not yet available.


Some analysts were surprised that the new Blackflip smartphone incorporates version 1.5 of Android, rather than the later versions of 2.0 or 2.1.


Based on GSM/WCDMA technology, the device supports HSDPA 7.2Mbps, touchscreen, 5MP camera, Wi-Fi and has a screen size of 3.1".



Natalie Apostolou and Nicole McCormick

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