WSJ: Dell "preparing a move into cellphones as early as next month"
Thomas Ricker|@trixxy|January 30, 2009 1:52 AM
You know who's blabbing again? That reclusive set of business people who always seem to be "familiar with the matter," that's who. This time, they've got the Wall Street Journal in a twist over renewed rumors that Dell is "preparing a move into cellphones as early as next month." Next month, is of course the big cellphone coming out party known as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- an event Dell has flat-out denied any intention to attend. Still, the evidence presented by the WSJ is pretty overwhelming. First, sources say that a variety of smartphone prototypes, including one with a QWERTY-less touchscreen and another with a sliding keyboard, have already been built running Android and Windows Mobile. Second, Dell's smartphone team "spent much of last year" meeting with suppliers, carriers, and Asian phone manufacturers. Dell's team includes the former head of Motorola's phone division (Ron Garriques) and another Moto employee (John Thode) who heads up Dell's netbook group. The latter being of interest since the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm are considered netbooks by their makers. Oh, and Dell still hasn't made good on its purchase of Zing and its plans to build an all encompassing media ecosystem to manage your audio and video files across PCs and mobile devices. Sources do contend that plans have not been finalized and Dell may still abandon the effort. But with Acer making the jump into Smartphones next month and other non-traditional players having great success in the space at the expense of the former cellphone powerhouses, one thing is clear: PC guys "will just walk in" and figure this out. Right Ed?