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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dell May Unveil Its First Smartphone Next Month

According to unconfirmed reports, Dell will soon reveal its plans to release a smartphone running Google's upcoming Android operating system.

MarketingWeek cites "senior industry sources" when it reports that Dell will announce its return to the mobile device market at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

At this point, there are no additional details on this model.

Devices running this operating system aren't expected to debut until the second half of this year, and HTC has claimed it will have the first Android-powered smartphone on the market.

No Windows Mobile Here

In the early part of this decade, Dell was a major player in the handheld computer market with its Axim series. However, the company dropped out as interest in traditional handhelds waned and the market switched to smartphones.

Since that time, there have been unconfirmed but persistent reports that Dell is prepping a smartphone, especially after it hired Ron Garriques, a former Motorola executive, to be the head of its consumer group.

Previous rumors have always assumed this device would would run Windows Mobile. If this latest report is correct, then Dell has decided to go in a different direction: Android.

More About Android

Android is being put together by the Open Handset Alliance, a collection of 30+ companies, including Intel, TI, Sprint, T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and Wind River, but being led by Google.

This group is putting the finishing touches on this platform, which will consist of a Linux-based operating system, middleware, and key mobile applications. Many of these are likely to tie into Google's services, like Gmail and Google Maps.

Because this platform will be open source, the Alliance hopes it will be quickly extended to incorporate new technologies as they emerge.

In addition, it will be open to third-parties to create applications using Java.

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