Feeds

Dell plays left hand, right hand on smartphone plans

With services to match?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Michael Dell has confirmed that Dell is working on small-screen devices, while analysts reckon the company has shelved existing plans in order to provide services with its new devices.

Dell was speaking at Computerworld in Tokyo on Tuesday, and stated explicitly that his firm is "exploring smaller-screen devices".

The firm is thought to have been working on smartphones based on both Android and Windows.

But in a note to investors reported by eWeek, Shaw Wu, of Kaufman Brothers, advised that Dell had shelved all existing plans, because the devices are insufficiently different from the competition, and that Dell is looking to acquire some services companies to pad out the offering.

Services are very in at the moment - Apple demonstrated that manufacturers can continue to make money from customers after they leave the shop. The boys from Cupertino were hardly the first, but they're certainly been the most visible, and everyone has followed suit.

These days all the major manufacturers offer music, movies and applications, with Google and Microsoft starting to fill in for those who don't. On-line backup and hosted services are the next stage, and though half a dozen third parties already offer such services, it is hard to compete with what comes pre-installed.

The Palm Pré is interesting as it embraces the third-party providers with such enthusiasm - it has an address book that integrates directly with social networks and a local search that sees Google as a local resource. Palm will maintain a monopoly on applications, but has shown no interest in other media - preferring to make money the old fashioned way.

Wu reckons that Dell has created prototypes running both Android and Windows Mobile, but shelved them as being too bland. He also suggested that Dell is planning "vertical integration of some sort including software and/or services", from which Wu infers "Dell is contemplating making acquisitions to help in this effort".

But that process will take time, and Dell will have to move pretty fast if it's going to avoid creating a suite of on-line services that fail to differentiate from that offered by everyone, and their brother. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.