Dell goes back to the (smartphone) drawing board


Attention-grabbing rumors of a Dell smartphone began to surface this past January, and then again in February. Now, more than 2 months since the web-wide guessing game first began, there is fresh speculation regarding Dell’s secret handset.

Unfortunately, it’s probably not the kind of hype or publicity that Dell is hoping for. According to Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, Dell’s recent attempts to develop a competitive smartphone have been rejected by potential carriers due to an overall “lack of interest.”

Wu goes on to explain that Dell’s current prototypes (which include both WinMo and Android-powered devices) failed to offer any distinguishing features from the ever-growing field of smartphone competitors. He also noted that due to limited carrier subsidies, there would be very little room for Dell to sustain reasonable profit margins from the rumored handset(s).

On the bright side, Dell has apparently “gone back to the drawing board” in an effort to craft a more “distinct” smartphone. In light of Dell’s new found interest in design (see: Adamo), part of me wants to believe that Dell may just be able to pull off a decent if not attractive smartphone. On the other hand, it is Dell.

What do you think? Can Dell actually produce a worthwhile smartphone (the dPhone, perhaps?) that can seriously compete with Palm’s upcoming Pre, Apple’s pending iPhone 3.0, or any of the slew of feature-packed HTC handsets expected to drop later this year?

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