Rumor: Is Google, Dell working on mobile phone? Why not?

dell-googleIt’s only a pair of rumors. One old. One new.

The old rumor that’s surfacing again is that computer maker Dell is working on a wireless handset. The new one is that this mobile phone is associated in some form or fashion with Google.

MarketingWeek reported today that “Google is plotting the launch of a mobile phone in partnership with computer giant Dell” at the 3GSM conference in Spain next month. This comes from “senior industry sources”, so it must be true.

Doesn’t really matter. We’re going to see a lot of speculation and rumors surface this year regarding Google’s intentions in the mobile space and what manufacturers and third-party developers are going to do with Android, Google’s open-source mobile operating system.

So it’s only natural that the Dell, Google, Android rumor surfaces. After all, for Dell to pursue again the personal digital assistant (PDA) market — which it abandoned last year — is stupid. PDAs are a market on life-support.

dell pcThe market for smart phones, the so-called successor to PDAs, is underwhelming and hasn’t caught the interest of consumers. The market is owned by devices running the Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, and Blackberry operating systems from well-known manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Blackberry. With a few notable exceptions, smart phones are so 1999 in light of Apple’s iPhone.

Which leaves Android as the new, hip strategy in the mobile space if you’re not an already established player like Dell, who, quite truthfully, has been beige-box boring in recent years and is in need of a cool injection.

As you would expect, there are detractors to the Dell-Google rumors, citing correctly that Google doesn’t partner to co-develop hardware, that Dell’s PDAs flopped, and why would Google work with Dell on a handset when it’s already aligned with HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and others who are members of the Open Handset Alliance.

So sit back, relax, and let the Google, Android rumors begin in earnest.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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