Feeds

Dell puts gun to Streak 5 tablet, pulls trigger

Five-inch experiment dead

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Dell has discontinued its five-inch Dell Streak, a neither-fish-nor-fowl item that never quite caused consumers' pulses to pound.

The death of the Streak 5 was announced on Dell's website on Thursday, along with the suggestion that streakers "Check out our other innovative Dell tablets and smartphones," including the Android 2.2 Streak 7 tablet and Venue smartphone, Windows Phone 7 Venue Pro smartphone, and Windows 7 Home Premium Inspiron Duo convertible.

Dell's webpage announcing the end of the five-inch Streak

"It's been a great ride," you say? Well, not really

The Streak 5 was an odd bird: both a scrunched tablet and an expansively screened GSM smartphone. Released in June 2010 running Android 1.6, aka Donut, it was upgraded to version 2.2, Froyo, later that year.

When The Reg reviewed the five-incher shortly after its release, we called it "much more of a supersized Android smartphone than a real tablet." We were right. The Streak 5, though quite serviceable in some ways, was positioned between tablets and smartphones, and fell into that void.

Five-inch Dell Streak

An oversized phone or an undersized tablet?

Not that Dell should be excoriated for a poor marketing decision. Instead, they should be patted on the back for taking a chance. When the Streak 5 was introduced, the current tablet champ, Apple's iPad, had just been released, and – despite what Steve Jobs may have said – no one was really sure what form factor would become a success in the then-nascent tablet marketplace.

We now know that five inches didn't cut it for most consumers – but hindsight, as they say, is always 20/20.

The end of the Streak 5 doesn't mean that Dell is abandoning its foray into the tablet market, of course. It still offers the Streak 7, and the Streak 10 is due soon, although it'll make its debut in China.

The Android-based tablet market is in a bit of disarray at the moment, what with Google reneging on its earlier promise to open source version 3.0, aka Honeycomb, and with the next version, Ice Cream Sandwich, not due until later this year.

And then there's the iPad juggernaught, just a-rollin' along. Despite today's news from ABI Research that all Android tablets taken together now have a 20 per cent share of that market, Apple's 80 per cent is ... hmm, let's see ... four times as big.

If that Android's market share is going to rise – and the history of smartphones indicates that it should – one thing is clear: five-inch tablets won't be a factor in that growth. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.