Dell Developing MID (Mobile Internet Disaster)

Published on June 29, 2009
by John Paczkowski

dullThe consumer electronics wizards at Dell who brought us the now defunct DJ Ditty MP3 player and the Axim handheld are hard at work on another gadget, a mobile Internet device.

Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the MID uses an ARM-based chip, runs Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system and has been in development since last year. It does not have cellphone capabilities. The device could arrive at market before the end of the year, distributed via cellular providers, though a person familiar with the company’s plans tells The Journal it might be delayed or even scrapped entirely.

For Dell (DELL), whose track record in adjacent electronics businesses is littered with the corpses of devices like the Ditty and Axim, venturing into the MID market might be a tad risky. To succeed the company would have to overcome its lack of software development experience and wireless technology and develop an appealing device. No easy task for a company whose recent smartphone design was rejected as too dull by wireless network operators.

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