Feeds

Rebuffed by western cellcos, Dell turns to China and retailers

Eastern promise for smartphones

The essential guide to IT transformation

Although it failed to impress US and European operators with its smartphone prototypes, Dell is certainly not giving up, and is reported to be pursuing deals with retailers and with China Mobile. Chinese news sources report that the giant operator is likely to launch two Dell handsets later this year.

Analyst Zhang Jun of China's Web MKI told PC World that China Mobile is currently evaluating phones from Dell, with a view to creating a co-branded product running the cellco's own software platform. The largest Chinese mobile operator is determined to retain the upper hand in the balance of power and brand with handset makers, and to take a Japanese-style level of active involvement in development. In particular, it has said it plans to create its own software platform, called Open Mobile System (OMS), based on Android but with specific operator variations at all layers, and it will also open an applications store to support this.

Such a scenario clearly requires one or more biddable handset partners, and Dell could well step in, alongside various Chinese suppliers, since it would gain such a major springboard for the mobile market via Mobile's huge user base. It would not only have to support the China-specific operating system, though, but would also have to incorporate the TD-SCDMA 3G standard, as well as GSM. Dell will also offer a TD-SCDMA netbook with the launch of its Inspiron Mini 10 in China this week.

According to Zhang, other vendors working on TD-SCDMA/OMS phones include Huawei, ZTE, HTC and Lenovo. The last of these should get to market first with the so-called OPhone.

For its native US market, Dell is looking to sell through retailers and online, according to a research note from Ashok Kumar of Collins Stewart. "The carriers, who see products from all the leading handset vendors, have decided to pass on Dell's handset," he wrote. "Some carriers are citing a non-compelling product with a roadmap that lags competition."

Copyright © 2008, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?