Dell Streak 5 Goes Missing For Mystery Update5:30 PM EST Fri. Jul. 22, 2011
The Dell Streak 5 tablet has disappeared from retail store shelves and isn't available from Dell.
According to a Thursday report from Engadget, which first reported that Dell had stopped taking orders for the Streak 5, Dell has suspended sales while it performs an unspecified update to the device.
A spokesperson for Dell declined to comment, citing the company's policy of not commenting on rumor or speculation. Dell's Web site lists the Streak 5 as temporarily out of stock as of Friday morning Pacific time.
The Streak 5, designed for use as both a smartphone and a tablet, runs Android 2.2 on a 1-Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and is enabled for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G. It also sports a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and a microSD expandable up to 32 GB. The Streak launched last August but is no longer available for sale.
The Streak tablet's 5-inch screen falls between the standard sizes for smartphones and tablets, creating an issue of confusing identity. The small size also omits benefits enjoyed by other tablets, said Alan Nogee, an analyst with In-Stat in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"People like tablets because they are much bigger than a phone. If you're going to go out to get a different device, you don't want one that is about the same size as the phone you have," said Nogee.
The Streak 5's form factor and functionality replace the need for two discreet devices, according to Dell.
"The Dell Streak hits the sweet spot between traditional smartphones and larger-screen tablets," Ron Garriques, president of Dell Communication Solutions Group, said in an August statement. "Its unique size provides people new ways to enjoy, connect and navigate their lives."
Nogee disagrees and says the two product categories fill different needs because users interact with them in different ways.
"People do a lot of things on the smartphone but it tends to be in little batches. People with tablets tend to use them for longer periods of time," said Nogee. "The reality is that you can't have a screen big enough to do editing and book reading and browsing on the same phone that is not so huge that you can't put it in your pocket."
Dell launched a 7-inch Streak tablet in February, but stuck to its guns with sizing smaller than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad. The Dell Streak 7 uses a 2.2-GHz Nvidia Tegra Dual Core processor, two 1.3 megapixel front and rear-facing cameras, built-in Wi-Fi capability, and access to T-Mobile's 4G mobile broadband network. Unlike the Streak 5, the 7-inch Streak remains available for purchase on Dell's Web site.