The wait for a Dell smartphone may finally be coming to an end, at least for customers in China.
A new report from TechCrunch claims that a reliable source said that Dell may be rolling out a smartphone in China within a day or two. It is currently unclear what telecom the smartphone may operate on, but speculation points to China Mobile and China Unicom. Dell, for its part, hasn't confirmed anything.
Of course, speculation around the possible launch of a Dell smartphone is nothing new. This year's rumors began circulating with reports that a smartphone might come from the computer manufacturer in January, with a potential announcement coming in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
When a Dell smartphone didn't appear at MWC, Michael Dell in March seemed to fuel the fire of a smartphone release while intimating that his company was looking into smaller form factor devices during a speech in Tokyo.
Still, a Dell-branded smartphone never appeared, but that didn't stop rumors from heating up again in April. At the time, Reuters cited unnamed analysts claiming that Chi Mei Communications, part of Taiwan electronics giant Hon Hai, was working with Dell to develop handsets. Meanwhile, China-based software maker Red Office was supposedly developing the operating system for the smartphone.
At the time, reports speculated that Dell would first roll out a smartphone in China before bringing it to the U. S. and Europe.
Then, in early July, new reports surfaced claiming that Dell may have switched tactics altogether, designing a pocket-size portable Internet device rather than a smartphone. Ain McKendrick, general manager of mobile Internet devices at Dell, was tapped to run the project for the company, with a spokesperson confirming that McKendrick's role was to look at projects for future consideration.
The long road to a Dell smartphone hasn't been smooth. And while the latest report from TechCrunch relies on analysts it says are reliable, the real payoff will come when Dell finally delivers on the hardware.