Dell’s efforts to create a phone have hit a roadblock as prototypes of a Dell branded mobile phone have failed to impress carriers. In a note to investors, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu wrote, “From our conversations with supply chain and industry sources, it appears that it ultimately came down to lack of carrier interest.” In an increasingly competitive smartphone market, carriers are undoubtedly looking for a homerun device capable of attracting new customers (like an iPhone), and with so many new and compelling options these days, carriers find themselves in a position to be pickier about which phones they ultimately choose to support.
Dell’s prototype phone was capable of running both Windows Mobile or Android, but its becoming increasingly clear that without an attractive OS or eye-catching design, Dell will have a near impossible time even getting off the ground if it ever wants to enter the market as a serious player. This doesn’t bode well for Dell as it lacks any semblance of significant software development experience, and while some of their PC designs are capable of turning a few heads, that experience doesn’t extend to engineering devices like cell phones.
Dell isn’t giving up, though, and plans to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more unique hardware design. Interestingly, Electronista theorizes that Dell may “pursue a vertical integration of hardware and software in the vein of Apple’s iPhone or Research in Motion’s BlackBerry. The PC builder may need to buy out specialized companies to complete the project.”