Dell's Android phone for China and Brazil: How bad can it be?

Jeez, from the talk out there you'd think that Dell's just announced Mini 3 phone had no shot at success in China or Brazil.  Dell, even though it hasn't been wildly successful over the past few years, still builds a lot of computers, including one of the thinnest and sexiest out there, the Adamo laptop line.

Their history in portable devices is less illustrious.  They had the Dell DJ and Axiom lines which both didn't live up to expectations.  However, the blame for those failures might be more on the OS than the hardware. 

The Dell DJ was mostly just a re-branded Creative player with Creative's somewhat clunky OS.

The Axim line of Windows CE PDA products were the same formula.  Inexpensive, unremarkable hardware mixed with lackluster software.

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Both products were sold in a market where better options were available with substandard OSes. 

There are plenty of Android phones in the US and the iPhone and Blackberry lines already have a lot of the mindshare in the richer countries.

I'm not sure the Mini 3 will be a success, but it has the hottest operating system on board (Android) and it is being released in the two fastest growing economies in the world (China and Brazil).  The two carriers that will be carrying Dell's phone both have more subscribers than any carrier in the US.  China Mobile has more subscribers than the population of the US.


And the iPhone isn't faring too well there either. After the first week it had sold only 5000 legitimate devices.

Dell appears to be entering the market(s) with a no frills Android device that is very utilitarian.  Perhaps a big chunk of those almost 2 billion potential customers will bite.

So, Dell has a shot is all I'm saying.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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