March 30, 2012

Dell Exits U.S. Smartphone Market

PC maker Dell is reportedly abandoning the U.S. smartphone market, at least for now, to refocus on emerging markets and higher-margin products, according to multiple media reports.

The company said on Thursday that it would stop U.S. production and sales of its Venue and Venue Pro smartphones, which run the Android and Windows Phone operating systems.  The devices will remain on sale in India, South Korea and other parts of Asia, Dell told IDG News.

No specific replacements for the Venue and Venue Pro have been announced, although a company spokesman told the Web site AllThingsD that more mobile devices will come to the U.S. market in the near future, including both smartphones and tablets.

This could possibly be a reference to the Windows 8 products Dell has said it plans to release by the end of the year.

Dell´s move out of the U.S. smartphone market ends its two-year attempt to gain traction in the highly competitive space.  The company launched its Aero smartphone in 2010.  Later that year, it introduced its Streak 5, a device with a 5-inch screen that some described as either a large smartphone or a small tablet.

The company has since halted sales of the Streak 5 and its larger 7-inch version.

Dell is only the latest major systems vendor to hit a roadblock in the highly competitive U.S. smartphone market.  Hewlett-Packard also made a play for the smartphone and tablet space with its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in 2010.  The products ultimately failed to gain traction, and remained on the market for less than one year.

Dell said it would now focus on emerging markets and higher-margin mobile devices, while working to become more of an IT solutions and services supplier.

News that Dell would be halting its U.S. smartphone offerings was reported earlier by PC World, eWeek and other media outlets.


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