Dell To Launch Mini 3 Smartphone in China, Brazil; No Word On U.S.


Dell confirmed it plans to build smartphones and has reached deals with carriers in China and Brazil to get the business going.

Dell revealed scant details on the new smartphone, called the Mini 3, but said the products would be designed around Google's Android platform to "best deliver power, flexibility and customization opportunities for both users and carriers." A small photograph on the company's Web site shows a black device with rounded edges and a large touch screen, an image that has floated around the Internet for a few months as rumors of a Dell phone spread.

Dell is partnering with China Mobile, the largest telecommunications company in the world with more than 500 million customers, and with Brazil's Claro, which serves more than 42 million people on the America Movil network, according to Dell. Phone models will be announced in late November in China and at year's end in Brazil.

The Dell-China Mobile deal was first reported in August and reports surfaced in early October that Dell planned an Android-powered smartphone in the U.S. by early 2010.

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Dell has existing agreements with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., as well as Vodafone in Europe, Australia and other countries, but it did not announce smartphone plans for those markets Friday.

"Our entry into the smartphone category is a logical extension of Dell's consumer product evolution over the past two years," said Ron Garriques, president of Dell's Global Consumer Group, in a statement. "We are developing smaller and smarter mobile products that enable our customers to take their Internet experience out of the home and do the things they want to do whenever and wherever they want."