Dell launches into US smartphone market

Dell launched itself into the ultra-competitive US smartphone market yesterday, unveiling its first handheld device for the market as part of a strategy to cut its reliance on PC sales.
The Aero runs Google’s Android operating system, and is available from AT&T for $100 (€79) with a two-year contract, or for $300 contract free.
Features include handwriting recognition, links to social networking sites that allow photos to be uploaded direct from the device, and Adobe’s Flash Lite software.
However, the Aero is already being touted as a low-end smartphone, because it runs version 1.5 of the Android platform.
The majority of new Android smartphones run the more recent v2.1 of the operating system, and many vendors are preparing to launch devices running v2.2 – the latest version of the platform -, the Washington Post notes.
Android became the top-selling smartphone platform in the US during 2Q, ousting RIM’s BlackBerry from the top step for the first time since late 2007, according to figures from NPD Group.
The research firm said smartphones are increasingly important to the US market, helping boost average selling prices 3% to $90 during the quarter and so offset a slight decline in overall mobile phone sales in the country.
Dell launched its first smartphone, the Mini 3i, in China last year as it looks to diversify into new product areas to reduce its reliance on PC sales.

It launched the iPad-rivaling Streak tablet in Europe in June, with US sales commencing earlier this month via AT&T.