SINGAPORE--Dell's Android-powered Streak will be out in the city-state starting Dec. 11 through local telco StarHub, which will serve as the exclusive dealer, said company executives.
In a Wednesday media briefing, Ian Chapman-Banks, general manager of Dell Asia-Pacific, announced that the U.S. company is partnering with StarHub to launch the 5-inch pocket tablet. The device will retail at StarHub shops and its exclusive partner outlets, he said.
On the sidelines, Ng Long Shyang, StarHub head of sales and marketing, said that though the operator prefers its customers to bundle the tablet with its mobile phone plans, the Streak is available at a standalone price of S$938 (US$711.75). Customers interested in pre-ordering the Dell slate can do so at StarHub's online store starting this weekend, he said.
According to Chapman-Banks, the Streak for Singapore will come with the latest version of the Android operating system, 2.2 (Froyo). Similar to other smartphone makers, Dell will be including its own customized user interface, Stage, in the Streak, he added.
Chapman-Banks told ZDNet Asia in an aside that the U.S. manufacturer is banking on the mobility of its 5-inch slate to win the battle against rival tablets. He added that slates with screen sizes beyond 5 to 7 inches would not be portable enough. Incidentally, Dell's upcoming second Android tablet will have a 7-inch screen.
Asked about Apple CEO Steve Jobs' quip that the user will need sandpaper to file their fingers if he wants to use a smaller tablet, Chapman-Banks said it was "expected" of the Cupertino leader to utter such a thing, and he himself poked fun at the 10-inch tablets as "slabs". He pointed out that as long as touchscreen devices have capacitive screens and can sense heat from the user's finger, the devices should be able to interpret the user's finger movement.
Meanwhile, StarHub's Ng said the operator expects a "favorable" response from customers, especially with the festive period around the corner.
Ng declined to comment on the partnership between rival telco SingTel with its exclusive Samsung Galaxy Tab deal, noting that StarHub is focused on the Streak and will continue to provide a wide range of smart devices on its network.
Representatives from both StarHub and Dell have declined to comment on how long the exclusive deal will last.