In an era of the Apple iPhone, Dell is putting a great deal of weight on Android to make a splash with the Aero. But Dell faces an uphill climb. Dell should probably have stuck to PCs. Here are three reasons Dell's Aero doesn't stand a chance in a crowded smartphone market.
1. The Dell Aero is AT&T exclusive. Dell's first major fail with the Aero was teaming up with AT&T. It was the same fate that befell the Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry Torch 9800, which launched to lackluster dales. AT&T already has the Apple iPhone, and smartphone users don't flock to AT&T, they flock to the iPhone. AT&T also recently killed its unlimited data plans in favor of two capped data plans for smartphones. AT&T has also come under constant fire for poor network performance. Siding with a different carrier could have helped Dell and the Aero succeed.
2. The Dell Aero uses an outdated version of Google Android. Really, Dell? A new smartphone that runs Android 1.5? There are already a handful of devices that run Android 2.2, or Froyo, which delivers several orders of magnitude more functionality than its Android predecessors, and Flash. That's right, Flash. Any device that wants to compete in an iPhone-dominated world has to have a leg up. For Android, Flash is that leg. Dell's launching a new device based on an old -- Dare we say nearly archaic? -- version of Android isn't what the market wants.
3. The Dell Aero's design and functionality don't break any new ground. One of the selling points of Google Android devices is the functionality. The Dell Aero doesn't have it. The Aero runs on a 624 MHz processor, shy of the 1 GHz a lot of modern smartphones currently pack; it ties in a 3.5-inch 360x640 resolution display, which is dwarfed by other current hot devices; and it features a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, while its competition offers HD video recording and other cool capabilities. The Dell Aero falls short. And for $99 with a two-year agreement, it's hard to justify buying the Aero versus spending $100 for a Motorola Droid X on Verizon or an Apple iPhone 4 to get more bang for the buck.