Feeds

Dell plays left hand, right hand on smartphone plans

With services to match?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.