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Dell Consumer Electronics – 10 Years Later They Still Need Help

Last July, a piece was published on Wired.com called Delusional Dell Planning a Smartphone. I was reminded of the Dell DJ Jukebox that I purchased back in the 2002/2003 timeframe when MP3 players, particularly the iPod were becoming very popular. My Dell player was heavy, with a non-elegant display and scroll wheel much like the one found on PC mice. I remember that I was pretty happy with this device, until it came time to create playlists and move music around. I don’t recall what software came with it, but I remember purchasing an upgraded version that was good for a lifetime (about 24 months for me until I got my first iPod and never looked back). The whole experience was a pain in the rear! Instead of playlists on the Dell simply being file pointers, it seemed that it was copying the files over again – almost as if it was just copies of the mp3 file in a different folder (it probably was, but I don’t want to assert that here since I didn’t reverse engineer it or research it).

Given that Apple clearly won the mp3 player battle and already had made huge inroads into the smartphone market, I found it surprising that Dell was launching a smartphone. I was even more surprised to learn that it wouldn’t be a Windows 7 phone, but would instead run the Android operating system. Perhaps this would bode well for them since a large number of people I know have embraced Android based phones.

Today I see this article -> Dell’s Aero Smartphone: An Embarrassment to Android. It turns out that the version of Android they launched with, version 1.5, is older than the press release I linked to above indicating that they were planning a smartphone! I cannot imagine the product marketing decision making process that thought it would be ok to launch in August 2010 with an OS that was 16 months behind phones coming into the marketplace today made by LG and HTC.

Dell is great at making desktops and laptops. It is the only brand I have used/purchased since 1998 and I have been through 6 or 7 models at this point. Clearly, they still need help in the development of their consumer portable electronics!

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