The Tablet War – Dell Strikes With Streak Pro and Deal With Mobilink

Global PC makers, Dell, has rolled out its newest tablet, the business-focused 10.1-inch Streak Pro, according to reports. Dell’s tablet, which runs Google’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system, will join a long list of media tablets set to roll out during this period as a growing number of vendors look to gain traction in the rapidly growing tablet space currently dominated by Apple’s iPad.



The new device will be Dell’s third tablet, joining the Streak 5, which offers a 5-inch screen, and the 7-inch Streak 7. Earlier reports had Dell’s Streak Pro being powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 T2 5 SoC (system on a chip), which among other things is 3D-capable. However, according to a May 19 report in SlashGear, the device will be powered by a slower Nvidia chip, the 1.0GHz Tegra 2 T20, which does not have the 3D capabilities.


The Streak Pro will offer a 1280 x 800 touch screen and weigh 1.59 pounds, according to reports. It will offer models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flash memory, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel camera on the front, will include Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities, and will come in a number of colors, including black, blue, red and pink. Included accessories include an in-car changer, a “productivity dock” and a folding cover with an integrated keyboard.


Dell is one of several vendors that wants in on a tablet space that market research firm Gartner has said will grow from almost 70 million in sales this year to 294 million in 2015. The challengers to Apple are coming from both the PC world—Dell, HP and Acer, and the smartphone space, including BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, Motorola and Samsung.


For Dell and HP, tablets are a way of expanding their reach in the industry beyond the PC. On May 17, executives with both companies, while announcing quarterly earnings, said they saw revenue drops in their consumer PC businesses, though sales of their commercial PC units were healthy. Analysts have debated the impact of tablets on sales of traditional laptops. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, in a May 17 blog post, said tablets were part of the problem facing Dell, HP and Acer, but not the biggest.


“Tablet cannibalization is only a minor contributor to soft PC sales,” Epps wrote. “The bigger factor is the Windows release cycle—so many consumers bought new PCs when Windows 7 came out, and without a new version of Windows this year, there isn’t the same catalyst to buy.”


Meanwhile Dell has launched the android powered Dell Streak 5 through a Pakistan-based local cellular operator Mobilink, even though they have a separate distribution channel. Dell’s regional manager Ali Jaleel at the launching ceremony said that Dell had grown to a certain point where diversification seemed like a good option to grow business in the country. “Mobility seemed like an interesting scenario for this.”


“Amongst other things, the upcoming 3G auction is also one of the reasons that Dell has begun to explore mobility products in the country,” he added. The android powered phone with a 5-inch touch screen confused analysts whether Dell is launching a tablet to try and compete with the I-Pad frenzy. Mobilink in the past worked with Dell’s global competitors such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola to launch their products. An interesting thing about Mobilink offerings is that the phones they offer can be used with a sim card of a competitor operator as well.

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