5 Big Challenges For Dell's Streak

But Dell is fighting an uphill battle to gain traction with the Streak. Here's why:

1. Identity: Is it a tablet or a smartphone? Dell might think it's pointing to a new category of mobile devices that further blurs the already-blurry lines between those two mobile devices, but as any salesperson knows, when the customer is confused, the customer says no.

2. Pricing: Price-wise, the Streak does come under Apple's iPad and many tablets out there, but it's a solid C-note more than most smartphones with which it will also compete. Given that it shares so many characteristics -- 1 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G enablement, 5-megapixel camera -- with many of the hot Android phones already out there, it's hard to determine what the extra $100 is getting you.

3. Android 1.6: Dell didn't indicate exactly which version of Android Streak will ship with in its press release -- probably because it didn't want to play up the fact that when users get their Streaks, they'll be running a version of Android several versions behind the current one. Dell Chief Blogger Lionel Menchaca indicated in a Tuesday blog post that it'll indeed be 1.6, but Dell will offer an over-the-air upgrade to Android 2.2, aka Froyo, later this year. It's a minor quibble, provided the 2.2 upgrade arrives quickly enough, but a quibble nonetheless.

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4. Android's Advance: The explosion of hot devices running Google's Android OS -- including some of the coolest smartphones of 2010 -- is something Dell clearly wants a piece of, and Android ubiquity will help it. It may also hurt it, though; with so may choices for Android devices -- including a burgeoning Android market for tabelts -- what's separating Dell's from the pack?

5. AT&T: If Dell's paying attention to the mobile device competition, it knows that the two things users hate most about their Apple iPhones, at least according to a recent survey by ChangeWave, is that they have to use AT&T's network and the quality of AT&T's 3G service. There's no question AT&T is a turn-off for many smartphone users -- something that Dell might have to find out the hard way.