Has Dell Thrown in the Towel in the U.S. Smartphone Market?

Dell seems to have admitted defeat, and stopped selling smartphones in the U.S. at least for now. Dell has never been a major player in the smartphone space, and most of its offerings have been duds. It has discontinued sales of its Venue and Venue Pro smartphones, and now has no smartphones available for sale in the U.S. It may continue to sell smartphones in other markets, but may exit even those markets soon.

It may focus on selling mobile devices, including tablets, to enterprise customers. Being one of the largest PC and notebook makers, it has a good chance of capturing market share in the tablet space, with the upcoming Windows 8.

It’s funny how the tables have turned. More than a decade ago, Michael Dell commented that he would shut down an ailing Apple and return money to shareholders, and now Apple is the fastest growing player in the PC and notebook market, and a leader in the exploding smartphone market, while Dell is struggling to compete. Steve Jobs did have the last laugh after all.

Another interesting fact: Apple ($560 billion) is currently worth around 20 times as much as Dell ($28 billion).

Dell Launches The XPS 13 Ultrabook In India For Rs.79,900

Earlier this year, Dell announced the powerful XPS 13 Ultrabook at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. The Dell XPS 13 features a 13 inch HD (720p) WLED display with the edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass. Consumers have the option of choosing either Core i5 2467M or Core i7 2637M CPU as well as 128 GB or 256 GB SSD. It offers up to 8 hours of battery-life. Dell recently launched the much-awaited XPS 13 ultrabook for the Indian customers at an event in Mumbai. Check out the complete specs below.

dell xps 13

Mr. Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director & General Manager, Consumer and SMB, Dell India said,
“The XPS 13 is a perfect mobility device packing powerful technology into a small, portable package and delivering enterprise-friendly protection and security. With XPS 13 users don’t have to make a choice between beauty and practicality. XPS 13 offers enterprise ready features for professionals enabling them power to connect, collaborate and innovate with unique features and services – like Dell ProSupport services and Trusted Platform Module (TPM)– that satisfy the needs of IT departments.”

Dell XPS 13 Specifications:

  • Ultrathin laptop (0.6-1.8 cm /6-18mm) and light starting at 1.36 kgs
  • 34 cm HD WLED, 300-nit (1366×768) 720p; edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass
  • Precision crafted machined aluminum with a carbon fiber base
  • 128 GB SSD or 256 GB SSD drive options with Intel Rapid Start Technology
  • Intel Core i5 2467M and i7 2637M processor choices
  • Intel HD 3000 video graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz memory
  • Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard
  • Glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support
  • 47WHr 6-cell battery offering up to eight hours, 53 minutes of battery life ; 45W AC adaptor
  • Dell Pro Support for business customers, Dell Configuration Services and Trusted Platform Module
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity
  • USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 with PowerShare, mini DisplayPort, and headset jack
  • Built-in 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
  • High definition audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4
  • Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium

dell xps 13

The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) offers user and machine security with BitLocker Data Encryption for network-based client computing. The Dell XPS 13 is currently available for purchase in India with a starting price of Rs.79,900 for the base model, while the price goes up to Rs.99,900 depending on the user’s customization. You can easily get the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook at Dell Exclusive stores as well as other retail partners. However, you can also order it online from the Dell’s official website.

Dell Re-enters the Ultrabook Arena with XPS 13

Dell was one of the first companies to jump aboard the super-thin laptop bandwagon. However, after the ultraportable Adamo failed to make a dent, Dell seemingly dropped out of the race. It stood by and watched as Apple, Sony, HP, Asus and others flooded the market with ultrabooks during the 2011 holiday season. Now, with the XPS 13, Dell is re-entering the ultraportable laptop arena.

Dell-XPS-13

The XPS 13 is being touted as a 13.3 inch laptop in near 11 inch form factor. Thanks to the resilient edge to edge Gorilla glass, Dell has managed to do away with the bevel almost completely, thus saving previous space. The XPS 13 measures in at 18 mm at its thickest point, and weighs just over 1.36 kg. The ultrabook looks like the a child born out of a marriage between consumer and corporate laptops. The mix of machined aluminum and carbon fiber material used is stunning, but it’s still nowhere near as flashy as the HP Envy. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

The XPS 13 is quite obviously not built for gaming or heavy duty multimedia tasks, but it is no pushover either. Consumers have the option of choosing either Core i5 2467M or Core i7 2637M CPU. Dell’s ultrabook will ship with 4 GB RAM, SSD (128 GB or 256 GB), USB 3.0, and almost 9 hours of battery backup.

The XPS 13 will launch in March, and the base model is expected to cost about a thousand bucks.

Full Specification:

  • Ultrathin laptop (0.24-0.71”/6-18mm) with Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium; precision machined aluminum with a carbon fiber composite base
  • Intel Core i5 2467M and i7 2637M processor choices
  • 13.3” HD WLED, 300-nit (1366×768) 720p; edge-to-edge hardened Gorilla Glass
  • Intel HD 3000 video graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333Mhz memory
  • 128 GB SSD or 256GB SSD drive options
  • Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; glass integrated button touchpad with multi-gesture support
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 802.11 A/G/N and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity
  • High definition audio with Waves MaxxAudio 4
  • Built-in 47WHr 6-cell battery (Dell XPS 13 batteries are built into the laptop and are not replaceable by the customer) offering up to eight hours, fifty-three minutes of battery life[5]; 45W AC adaptor
  • USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 with PowerShare (1), mini Display-Port, and headset jack (1)
  • Built-in 1.3MP webcam (H.264 enabled via Skype) with dual array digital microphones
  • Dell ProSupport for business customers, Dell Configuration Services and Windows Trusted Platform Module options for commercial models
  • Dimensions: Height: 0.24-0.71” (6-18mm) / Width: 12.4” (316mm) / Depth 8.1” (205mm); Weight: starting at 2.99lbs (1.36 kg)

Update: The Ultrabook is now available for pre-order.

Dell Announces the Streak Pro in China; Powered by Baidu Yi OS

Dell has officially unveiled the new Dell Streak Pro in China, at a press conference in Beijing. It will be the first smartphone powered by the new Baidu Yi platform. It will be available on China Unicom and packs in some really impressive hardware.

It comes with a dual core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor and a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. It comes with Baidu’s new Yi smartphone platform, which is customized for Chinese customers. It comes integrated with a lot of popular Baidu services, and is also compatible with Android apps. It will presumably come with an 8 MP camera.

Dell Streak Pro

Dell has been focusing on China a lot lately. It recently launched the Streak 10 tablet there, and now a new smartphone exclusively for China.

“Dell will choose to release more and more products for China, as its first place to launch in the world, because China is becoming an important market,” said Michael Yang, Dell’s President of Greater China.

Dell had first launched a variant of the Dell Streak Pro in Japan in September, but it was powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It may launch the smartphone globally soon, but hasn’t revealed anything on that front yet.

Here’s the official announcement by Dell: Dell launches Streak Pro smartphone for customers in China

Dell Launches The Latitude ST Business Tablet In India

Last month, Dell announced the new Dell Latitude ST tablet for business, healthcare and education. This tablet runs on the Windows 7 Operating System. Dell Latitude ST is ideal for any organization where employees need to run a core set of applications in safe computing environments. It allows you to connect the tablet to projectors, printers or other devices using built-in ports. Within a month of its official announcement, Dell finally launched this tablet in India. Check out the complete specs below. dell latitude st

Dell Latitude ST Specifications:

  • 10.1″ WXGA touchscreen display
  • 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
  • Pen & Touch Input
  • Intel Atom Z670 processor
  • Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate OS
  • Mobile Intel SM35 Chipset
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 600
  • Dell Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE Combo Card
  • Dell Wireless 5550 Single-mode HSPA+ Mini Card
  • A-GPS
  • Up to 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Up to 128 GB Solid State hard drive
  • High Quality Mono Speaker
  • Stereo headphone/Microphone combo jack
  • Integrated digital microphone
  • 5 megapixel rear facing camera
  • Integrated 720p HD front facing video webcam
  • USB 2.0
  • SD Memory card reader
  • HDMI
  • Digital Pen garage
  • Docking Connector

Dell Latitude ST weighs 816 g. This tablet comes with a price tag of Rs.36,000. You can also get the optional Docking station for an additional price of Rs.8,000. To learn more, check out the video below.

Dell, HP to Launch Windows 8 Tablets in Q3 2012

Windows 8 has been able to shore up some support from device manufacturers already. Android hasn’t been doing too well on tablets, which is why some manufacturers like Dell are waiting for Windows 8 to move forward with their tablet plans. It recently announced that it would focus on Windows 8 for tablets, not on Android.

HP, also almost quit the tablet game after the disastrous market response to its webOS powered TouchPad, which was eventually offloaded in a fire-sale.

Windows 8

According to a new report by Digitimes, HP and Dell are already working on the development of Windows 8 tablets. They will be launched after Windows 8 becomes publicly available in the third quarter of 2012.

With Amazon poised to take over the low end of the tablet market and Apple dominating the high end, Windows 8 seems like the best alternative for tablet manufacturers.

Google will be unveiling Android Ice Cream Sandwich tomorrow, which will be a unified OS for smartphones and tablets. It could potentially tilt the scales in Android’s favor. However, the lack of tablet apps for the Android platform continue to be a significant deterrent for those planning to buy a Android tablet. Unless Google is able to solve that, Microsoft stands a good chance to beat Android with Windows 8.

Dell Streak Pro 101DL Android Smartphone Announced

Dell recently announced a new smartphone – the Dell Streak Pro 101DL. This handset runs on the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. It is the company’s third Android device after the previously launched Dell Mini 3i and Dell Venue. This handset comes with pretty impressive specs. The Dell Streak Pro 101DL will be exclusively available for the customers of wireless carrier Softbank in Japan.

dell streak pro 101dl

Dell Streak Pro 101DL specs:

  • 4.3 inch super AMOLED display
  • 540 × 960 pixels resolution
  • 1.5 GHz MSM8260 dual-core processor
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Dell Stage 2.0 pre-installed
  • 8 megapixel rear camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • 3G Connectivity
  • SyncUp compatible
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Multimedia player
  • GPS
  • microSDHC card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Up to 300 hours stand-by time
  • Up to 390 minutes talk-time

The Dell Streak Pro 101DL will be available for purchase in Japan from January 2012. The price of this handset has not been announced yet. You will also get 2GB of free SyncUP cloud storage to automatically synchronize media files in the cloud. This handset will be available only in Black color. Dell Streak Pro 101DL is expected to launch worldwide early next year.

[Interview] Dell is Committed to PC Business: GM, Dell India

According to IDC, Dell is the number one PC vendor in the consumer, small & medium business, as well as the enterprise space. Dell has channel presence across hundreds of cities and sells at thousands of retail outlets across the country. Apart from a variety of product lines to suit diverse customers, the after-sales support options from Dell has garnered several fans and loyalists, including me.

Last week I met Mahesh Bhalla, Executive Director and General Manager (Consumer & SMB) at Dell India. We talked about Dell’s business in India, the revolution in devices and form factors, and Dell’s newest line of business the mobile phones.

  • Dell is fully committed to the PC business. The high-volume business is tricky, which is why HP recently announced that they are looking to spin-off their PC business
  • Mahesh dismisses the myth that to succeed in Indian market, one has to sell the product at the cheapest. Dell’s number one status testifies this assertion since Dell prices it products higher than the regional industry average.
  • Dell succeeds in getting positive mindshare on basis of support options since it builds those with an astute understanding of the local market. In India, on-site service is the best option. Dell provides on-site service in 650 cities
  • There are a variety of form factors in the market at this moment. After a certain time, the market would crystallize. One can always give choice to customers, but too many choices add to costs.
  • Dell has been in mobile business for less than a year, and is working to improve the distribution channels and also offer different form factors and device options.

Apple Hits New High in US Customer Satisfaction

A new report from the American Customer Satisfication Index (ACSI) reveals that Apple has once again topped the index for PC, making it eight years in a row that consumers have been most satisfed with Apple.  Apple’s score this year was up 1 percent to 87, putting the company ahead of competitors by nearly 9 points. The average score in the personal computer business was tracked at 78 points on the 0-to-100 scale.

ACSI 2011

In addition, the ACSI said that Apple’s computer satisfaction appears to be “unstoppable”. Competing PC makers topped out in 2011 with scores in 70, with HP being the highest at 78.  “In the eight years that Apple has led the PC industry in customer satisfaction, its stock price has increased by 2,300%,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder.    “Apple’s winning combination of innovation and product diversification—including spinning off technologies into entirely new directions—has kept the company consistently at the leading edge.”

The data for the report comes from  interviews with about 70,000 customers rating more than 225 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors.

Wait a minute! How on earth is a a company that’s known to be “evil”, doesn’t dominate in marketshare, and isn’t “OPEN” has the most number of satisfied customers eight years in a row? Unreal.

Apple Tops Worldwide Mobile PC Shipments in Q2 2011 with iPad Included

A new report by research firm DisplaySearch reveals that Apple sold a significant amount of mobile PCs in the second quarter. The study includes both traditional notebooks and tablets, and Apple was the leader with 21.1 percent of the market on 13.6 million units shipped. Apple sold 3.9 million more than HP.

Nearly 80 percent of Apple’s mobile PC sales were iPads. DisplaySearch categorizes tablets as “the engine of growth for the mobile PC industry.”

DisplaySearch Q2 2011

Quarterly tablets sales saw an increase of 70 percent sequentially and 400 percent over the year ago quarter. DisplaySearch also reports that 16.4 million units were shipped in the second quarter. 10.7 million of those units shipped were iPads.

If Apple was removed from the figures, the shipments of other makers’ tablets would have grown just 25 percent over the past year, bringing the total to over 5.6 million units.

Even though Apple sold as many iPads they could build, competitors still have been shipping tablets. For example, HP reduced the price of the TouchPad, and it has been reported that a huge inventory remains unsold in stores.

Richard Shim, a senior analyst for DisplaySearch, said in a release that preliminary results show a second consecutive quarter of Y/Y shipment growth rate decline. While part of the Y/Y decline can be attributed to a strong first half of 2010, the rising tablet PC shipment growth rate begins to point to notebook PC shipment cannibalization.

Apple continues to sees to sell the most of the tablets and dominate.