updated 06:25 pm EST, Fri December 4, 2009
Dell smartphones, tablet in new division
Dell this evening declared its intent to make handheld devices a focus by creating a new communications division. The section will head up development of smartphones, such as the Mini 3i, as well as unspecified other devices. Global consumer business head Ron Garriques, who left Motorola, will lead the new group.
The organization is most likely to oversee the last-stage development of the Streak, Dell's Android-based tablet MID (mobile Internet device).
Restructuring marks a new, more serious commitment to mobile devices at Dell. Until the Mini 3i, the Texas PC builder had all but abandoned handhelds after the cancellation of the Axim PDA series in 2007. It also had a poor track record in other categories as its DJ line of MP3 players neither seriously challenged the iPod nor garnered a significant minority share.
All of Dell's known sub-netbook devices to date run Android and further represent a snub to Microsoft, which Dell had prefered both through its use of Windows Mobile and through a near-exclusive preference for Microsoft software like Windows Media Player and the Windows Media Audio format.