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Dell internet device to take on iPhone?

Small-screen gadget in the works

Dell founder Michael Dell has admitted that his company is considering the launch of a small-screen device although stopped short of providing in-depth details of the product, which rumours suggest is a mobile internet device (MID).

During a speech in Tokyo, Dell said: "It is true that we are exploring smaller screen devices. We don't have any announcements to share today but stay tuned as when we have new news we will share that with you."

Dell versus iPhoneThe Dell CEO said he is watching the development the success of Apple's iPhone and the associated App Store - which has surpassed 200,000 downloads - as well as Google with its Google Android Marketplace. Also, last month market-leader Nokia jumped on the bandwagon and said it would also launch an application store.

"For the last three years we have integrated 3G radios into our notebooks," said Dell. "We already have agreements with many mobile carriers around netbook devices so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect that we would have smaller mobile internet devices or smartphones in the future."

His comments came as rumours swirl about prototypes of a device being shopped around US wireless carriers and manufacturing orders for smartphones placed with a Taiwanese contract manufacturer.

Dell didn't offer any additional information about the company's possible moves in the space and declined to comment on a report in Tuesday's Commercial Times newspaper in Taiwan that Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics, had received an order from the company to make smartphones.

This week some analysts have also been publically contemplating an acquisition of Palm by Dell as a fast-track into the phone and mobile device market.

Dell said buying other companies remains an option for expansion into the smartphone market but that its acquisitions focus is elsewhere at present.


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