Dell Goes Official With Android-Based Mini 3i Smartphone

The day has finally come, folks. Dell is getting into the smartphone business. It's kind of tough to believe, actually. Dell has been a staple in the PC industry for years, selling customized desktops, notebooks, netbooks, all-in-one PCs, media centers and every possible PC accessory you could ever think of. But what it hasn't done is, well, anything other than that. Until today.

With the cellphone industry at large booming, particularly in respect to smartphones, the company is looking for ways to broaden its product line and possibly make up for sagging demand for desktops. We'd heard over the past few months that the company was indeed working on something to talk on, and now Dell has finally come forward in official fashion to confirm as much.


China Mobile and Claro, both foreign operators, will be the first two to sell the phone. We're guessing that Dell did this intentionally in order to guage the interest overseas first before diving deep into the North American sector. This way, it has time to make tweaks and fine-tune the OS before the critical Americans get their hands on it. Also, China Mobile serves over 500 million people, so that's a pretty big subscriber base to cater to.


The Mini 3 will be called something slightly different in each market it seems (such as Mini 3i in China), but few details about the device itself are available. You can tell by the images that it'll be a touch screen-based phone, but exact specifications will be announced on a partner-by-partner basis when devices are available in stores, anticipated in late November for China Mobile and year’s end for Claro. Best of all, Dell's using the Android operating system here, so it actually does stand a good chance of rivaling phones like the Pre, Droid and iPhone. Here's hoping it comes to other markets soon!