Just a few days after introducing
its own Android-like OS, Baidu is now looking to expand its mobile reach
to the hardware front, with the help of Dell. According to Reuters
, the Chinese search giant has joined forces with the PC manufacturer to produce a line of tablets and smartphones within China, in the hopes of capitalizing on a market of more than 900 million mobile subscribers. A Dell spokeswoman declined to offer a launch date for the new line of products, but sources close to the matter say they could launch as early as November. Details on the devices remain equally opaque, though Dell seems intent on resurrecting its tablet / handset unit, following the demise
of the Streak 5
. "We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space," the company's rep explained, adding that future releases would involve Baidu's mobile app platform, as well. Today's announcement also comes after Dell's Chinese sales grew by 22 percent during the first quarter of this year, though it remains to be seen whether or not this alliance will have much affect on a market currently dominated by Apple and Lenovo.