Dell Kills Streak 5 but Promises Continued Android Support

Dave Courbanou

August 15, 2011

2 Min Read
Dell Kills Streak 5 but Promises Continued Android Support

If you’ve been saving your pennies to buy the Dell Streak 5, you’re officially out of luck. Dell has killed the tiny tablet/phone roughly a year after its release. Here’s some perspective on what that means for the mini-tablet workplace and what that may mean for you, dear VAR, if you’re working on a tablet strategy …

Go poking around online and you’ll find Dell’s Streak 5 page now directs you to shift your interest to its new tablets or Windows Phone 7 phones. Dell has ended the life of the Streak 5, in what is likely an attempt to foster the adoption of newer and better technology, not to mention more accepted form factors. Early reports of the Streak’s form factor was the size — 5 inches — was awkward; too big for a phone that you’d hold against your head or fit in your pocket but too small to really be considered a tablet. After consumers were initially underwhelmed (especially since the Streak launched with an older version of the Android OS), Dell pushed the Streak 5 for use in hospital settings.

What does this mean about mobile strategies for VARs, the consumerization of IT and the mobile world in general? Well, I think it lends credence to my argument that Android devices are often seen as more disposable than their iOS counterparts. The Streak 5 had barely a year-long run in the marketplace. It also may be confirmation that the industry has determined which product sizes seem to fit best for their use cases. Phones live in the 3-inch to 4-inch range, basic Android tablets or e-readers in the 6-inch to 7-inch range, and fully featured tablets in the 9-inch to 10-inch range.

You’re still probably wondering how Dell’s moves to kill the Streak 5 has any discernible effect on your business. Well, if you’ve been strategizing around a mobile or tablet offering, you now know what works and what doesn’t. With all the recent conversations around HTML5 web apps, development for 9-inch to 10-inch tablets in an agnostic, web-based approach seems to be the real sweet spot. This can be especially helpful in vertical markets where physicians or mobile workers may want to bring in their own devices.

Yes, it may be a small story, but the ripples from the now-dead Streak 5 likely will be felt and remembered as a learning experience while Android matures and the industry moves toward true mobile computing. The Dell Streak 5 is survived by the Streak 7, a 7-inch Android tablet, and the Dell Inspiron Duo, a 10-inch Windows-based netbook with a swivel screen for tablet use.

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