Dude, where’s my Dell?

Dell’s downward spiral: 10 years of failed consumer devices | The Verge.

There’s been a lot written about Dell since news of their plan to become a private company (with Microsoft’s help) was disclosed. I’ve had several Dell devices over the years but can’t imagine buying one now.

In addition to my corporate lap-brick at Screenlife in 2010 (a giant Dell laptop with a 17″ screen and the battery life of a AA battery) I personally bought two Dell Android based smartphones/tablets — the Streak 5 and Streak 7. The 7 was actually a nice device and a good form factor that was perfected with the Google Nexus 7.

The Streak 5 was actually a great phone, thin with a large screen that made it great for reading emails or books. The size of the screen was one of it’s challenges since at the time the tech press berated it for being too big to be a phone and too small to be a tablet. Dell was unable to market the product properly and eventually, after giving it lackluster support for new versions of Android, discontinued support for it altogether. It remains one of my favorite Android devices to date despite my disappointments with Dell’s support.

The market for a device that size has been proven by Samsung’s large screen Android devices like the Galaxy Note. Dell has never had Samsung’s ability to sell into the consumer space with anything but “me too” Windows PC that were selected on price, not value. Where is Dell’s tablet now? Where are they creating compelling new products to reinvent the PC for the new touch based user experiences such as Windows 8 and Android?

Whether or not Dell is structured as a public or a private company is irrelevant. Unless they can not just create innovative products but give them the kind of support that today’s consumers demand (Android upgrades and enhancements, etc) then they will never reclaim any success in the consumer space. The days of buying lap-bricks are over.

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