Dell 'learns past mistakes', plans to re-enter tablet market

Summary:Dell, after its attempt to break into the tablet market and failing miserably, is to relaunch its consumer assault and launch a new tablet later this year.

Dell is planning its comeback to the consumer tablet marked for late-2012, according to reports.

The Dell Streak was the company's enterprise-focused flagship tablet that never took off. The tablet entered a hostile, tough post-iPad hyped market, and other tablets were facing difficult times also.

The computing giant has suffered a number of losses last year, including a global decline in PC sales. Its hastiness in bringing out a tablet during what appeared to be fair-game for the company met with the Streak's demise last month, after the tablet was officially killed off.

But the company is planning a "bigger push" into the consumer arena, Dell's chief commercial officer Steve Felice said at CES.

Felice was not afraid to say how "very careful" the company is in approaching an already failed venture into the tablet market.

But Dell is learning from its mistakes and focusing on "ecosystem" rather than hardware or operating system alone. Felice acknowledged that the two combined and the "overall environment its operating is" is what people are interested in, but failed to disclose what Dell's tablet ecosystem could look like.

While the Dell Streak ran the Android mobile operating system, Felice said: "We like Windows 8 but we continue to develop with Android as well", giving no clues away. Either this means Dell is preparing a range of devices, or the company is still in early planning stages and has yet to put its plans to the table.

But given the failure of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook and the first round of HP's TouchPad tablets, the clock is ticking away on the countdown to the PC vs. tablet showdown. Are consumers are hungry for tablets, or simply in it for the iPads?

Michael Dell, the company's chief executive, said on Monday in India that tablets were an "additional device". It appears that while Dell recognises that the tablet market is a lucrative one, even amid patent wars and sales injunctions, it should be secondary to the PC market that still holds more weight.

Having said that, a poll last week suggests nearly half of American voters believe tablets will eventually replace laptops.

Related:

Topics: Laptops, Dell, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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