I've blogged about Dell's Mini 3 smartphone on a couple of occasions: first when we launched it in Brazil partnering with Claro and then when we introduced a version through China Mobile. Today, we confirmed our plans to offer an Android-based Mini 3 through AT&T. It will be one of the first Android-based smartphones to run on their 3G network.
If you've been following the smartphone space, you probably already know that Android continues to gain momentum. One of the cool things we like about Android is its flexibility as a platform. That flexibility is central to our core strategy in this market—developing customized solutions for our customers by collaborating with carriers like AT&T. Beyond that, we've also talked to customers and surveyed more than 1,500 people about what they are looking for in smartphones and mobile devices. You can view or download a copy of the survey summary from here on Dell's SlideShare account. For those that don't want to dig into that level of detail, study highlights include:
Update: Here's a video excerpt of AT&T's Developer Conference at CES, where its President and CEO Ralph de la Vega unveiled AT&T's smartphone plans along with Ron Garriques, who leads our new Communication Solutions business unit, and executives from other smartphone partners:
AT&T will announce the Mini 3 in the U.S. the first half of 2010. I'll share more details about the phone itself when we get closer to availability. Below is an image of the prototype. You can click on it to see a slightly larger version.
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I'm placing my standing order for this device when it's available in Canada: unlocked only! If I have to switch carriers or sign up for a costly data plan, the deal's off!
This would have been awesome if Dell hadn't gone and ruined it by partnering with the worst cellphone company in the US, and maybe in the world. If you had been smart, you would have gone with Verizon, or at least sprint. I will not even concider getting this phone until its with a better carrier.
I agree with both the previous comments. Why partner with a carrier at all? That choice should be mine... not yours. And of all carriers... AT&T???? When will the smartphone industry grow up and stop limiting consumer choice?
Being a PC manufacturer... Dell should have known better.
I read an insightful article that describes what Google is trying to do with the Nexus One: "unbundle" mobile hardware from carriers (kind of like it was in the 80's when you bought a phone and figured out which network to attach it to).
Google's master plan, this article states, is to decouple mobile hardware from software, in the same manner that PCs are not 'bundled' with internet providers (well, some are, but that's a marketing thing, not the norm). So, for Dell to go in the opposite direction, to force the carrier on you with the hardware, is counter to Dell's fundamental business model: so, Dell, make sure that you make an unlocked version available, or you're stepping backwards, not forwards, in trying to enter the mobile phone market!
I will never think about buying this until Dell chooses a better carrier. I will not even think about leaving Verizon until I can see that another network is close to it. Poor decision by Dell.
It seems like the Mobile/Cell-Phone market has gotten too big for itself. It was fine 5-6 years ago when most people would be curious and buying their first phone - often on pay as you go or what was the norm back then, a 1 year contract.
Now people rely on their phones and know exactly what they want out of them.
Phones are now so advanced and expensive that providers have to offer lengthy 18-24 month contracts, which isn't really suitable long-term when revolutionary new phones come out every few months. I think Manu's seem to forget that changing provider requires getting out of a contact, and then price of paying 3months + phone bills all at once ON TOP of the price of a new phone just really isn't worth it.
This is the exact reason I'm stuck with an old sony ericsson, as a year ago I signed up for a 2 year contract, and under no circumstances am I going to pay a years worth of bills just for the privilege of getting a certain phone on a different network.
Why would Dell partner with the "Worst" rated cell phone company in the USA??? Who's brain storm was that??
Why not choose a reliable company, like the "red map" one.
Talk about shooting ones self in the foot. Too bad, that just adds to the other poor Dell decisions, like outsourcing customer support.
Wake up Dell!
I'm going to be forced to go AT&T when they fully take over Alltel's business in my state. I am NOT looking forward to that, seeing as they will also have to upgrade almost all of the towers in my state to GSM.. uuugh.. I just wish I could buy a phone at a resonable price and choose my carrier that way..
As for the Dell thing.. I'd get a nexus one before I got a dell phone..
I just got one Dell mini 3ix at Claro (operator) store in Brazil
(March 2010) motivated by Android system, and I will return it
There is not Google App, there is a lot of Claro useless icons/apps.
There is not Android Market, and one really funny thing: there is an
icon for YouTube but there is not Flash, and so, we can't see videos!
And we can't install Flash!
There is a built-in GPS at the box (hw) but no GPS software, and not Google Maps...
The really good option for Brazilians still by stuff in internatinal trips, such as to US,
or ask for a friend to bring it to you. A good thing is go to Miami once a
year to buy stuff you want, it is cheaper than buy here.
The carriers in Brazil do wherever they want, they don't really care about new technologies or clients.
My advise is DO NOT BUY DELL CLARO ANDROID stuff in Brazil.
The Dell mini 3ix is a good hardware, but the custom Android provided by Claro make it a empty box!