Internationally, giant PC manufacturer Dell is expanding into Android-based smartphones and tablets left and right. But, at a press conference in Sydney yesterday, the company locally remained unable to confirm when the incoming wave of Dell devices would hit Australian shores.
The topic came up at a press conference in Sydney yesterday on Dell’s expansion into the IT services market, hosted by the vendor’s local managing director Joe Kremer. While — Kremer acknowledged — the US-based computer manufacturer and IT services provider has launched “some unique devices” in the US, China and India, there’s no certainty of when Australian consumers will gain access to the latest Dell devices.
“We plan to offer a range of mobility devices in Australia. We are unable to confirm at this time when we might launch a smart phone in Australia” a Dell spokesperson said in a separate statement.
When confronted by a direct question about a possible indication of time, Kremer said: “I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t happen at some point this year”.
In Australia, Dell is new to the mobile market. It launched its first Streak mini-tablet and combination smartphone based on Google’s Android system, back in October last year, giving Optus an exclusive three month start with the device. Kremer said he believes the Streak and the new Dell’s smart phones could be competitive in the long run and complement the company’s IT services and manufacturing businesses.
“If I had asked you six years ago ‘do you think people will go to Apple for mobile phones, what would you have said?” Kremer said yesterday.
The executive added that he didn’t believe laptops and desktops would be cannibalised by their portable competitors, even though many manufacturers, such as Samsung, Motorola, Lenovo, ASUS, LG, Acer, Sharp, Fujitsu and Panasonic are developing and launching tablet devices. “I think [for most people] it’s just a lot easier to have a laptop or a desktop and a substantial screen,” he said. “I don’t know that everyone will rush after a change”.
However, Dell is indeed joining the tablet rush. At the last Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Dell revealed its new Streak 7 tablet. At that time, the company said the device would have been on sale globally. A Dell spokesperson, contacted after the press conference for further details, said the company was planning to introduce a broad range of portable devices in Australia, but couldn’t predict when that might happen.
“We haven’t announced a launch date in Australia for Dell’s 7″ Streak tablet and are unable to speculate when it might be,” they said in a statement. “At this time we are discussing it with the carriers. We have also said we plan to offer a range of mobility devices in Australia”.
Image credit: Dell