Is Dell Preparing Too Many Android Tablets?
Dell is looking to capitalize on the Google Android boom as much as possible. Specifically, the PC giant is developing 7- and 10-inch tablets that leverage Android. Plus, there are clues that Dell will introduce 3- and 4-inch tablets. It makes me wonder: Will Dell offer too much customer choice? Here’s a look at the strategy.
The Wall Street Journal, in an interview with Dell executive Amit Midha, obtained details that a new 7-inch tablet will be launched in the next few weeks, along with a 10-inch brother to come inside a year.
But there’s more: Dell, which fumbled with their 5-inch “Streak” tablet-a-phone, plans on providing 3- and 4-inch android offerings too, with the 3-inch tablet apparently coming in the “near future” along side the 7-inch offering.
So far, officially, Midha tells the Journal that the 7-inch tablet will be running Android, but there will also be offerings for Windows, along with some deliberation on if Google’s Chrome OS will be adopted.
This blogger thinks Dell may have too many irons in the fire. Although we detailed that Dell is pushing the Streak into the medical arena, it hasn’t made its way into the consumer world too much. Have you seen anyone with one? I haven’t.
What’s more, with Apple being the de facto leader in the tablet world, we’ve seen that 10 inches is a pretty comfortable size for a tablet. We’ve found that 5 inches is a little too big for a phone, and that 6 inches seems cozy enough for book reading on a Kindle. So why in the world would Dell plan on launching something 3, 4, 7 and 10 inches, with a 5 inch device already floundering in the world?
There are too many options, and that means one of two things. Either Dell sells all the devices, poorly, or Dell sells one or two of the devices very well, while the others hardly fair in the market.
Less Is More
The solutions is simple. Make one, or two, really awesome products, and stick with it. Go with the 7 inch tablet, and then drop the Streak. Launch a solid 4-inch device. The Droid X has shown that consumer likes something big, but not too big, and the Droid X’s 4.3 inch screen proves that perfectly.
In my opinion, 7 inch tablet is a good form factor for a few reasons. First, it’s relatively the size of the Kindle, and will make for a more comfortable read for e-books. As much as I love my iPad, a 10-inch screen is comfortable, but can be a little heavy or awkward if you’re laying flat on a couch. A 7 inch tablet also means portability, especially for business types who need screen real estate, but don’t need the size of the iPad. (Unsurprisingly, 7 inch iPad rumors have swirled about for ages now.)
So for that, my hat is off to Dell. Good luck. I’m looking forward to your latest true tablet. But keep your focus. You’ll need it, especially when HP unleashes a webOS tablet, and RIM’s BlackBerry 7 inch PlayBook hits shelves.