Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dell and smartphones

The latest rumours indicate that Dell are about to introduce a line of smartphones. Despite the incredible competition in this area, Dell's move makes great sense.

That's because of the convergence of computing to common standards. Smartphones are now mini computers, capable of running the same platform as desktops. Vendors should gain economies of scale by copying Apple, who use Mac OS across its product portfolio, from the iPhone to the iMac.

Dell has two choices for platform. It could choose the one it's worked on for the last twenty years - Windows. Or, as rumoured, it could choose Android.

If Dell chooses Android, this would be a reflection of Microsoft's weakness in the mobile space. But it could also be a harbinger of more to come; why couldn't Dell also use Android for netbooks, even eventually PCs?

I've already predicted further consolidation between the smartphone manufacturers and laptop manufacturers. Now the industries are converging, there are far too many companies around. Dell will struggle to achieve smartphone market share on its own before the market consolidates around it. If Dell is serious about becoming a major provider of smartphones, it should acquire to gain scale and expertise.

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