At the D8 conference this year Dell Communications Solutions Group President Ron Garriques announced that his company will begin selling its Google Android-based Streak device in the United States for $500 at the end of July.
The Streak is a device with a 5 inch screen that is designed to compete with Apple’s iPad. In an effort to cut into Apple’s sales, Dell has equipped its new device with a few features that the Apple iPad does not have.
In addition to Adobe Flash support, the Streak contains Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity – and it’s also a phone. It has a two cameras, one for videoconferencing, and GPS. According to Garriques the Streak has the ability to store hundreds of movies. The device comes with 2GB of dedicated internal storage.
The Streak gives users the ability to use email, text, instant message, accept phone calls and listen to music in real time. According to Garriques, Dell developed the Streak in order to create a device that can be stored in a customer’s “top pocket” and still provide the ability to browse the web.
Because of its 5 inch screen many experts, like Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies, believe that the Streak is more a Smartphone than a tablet and is therefore no competition for the Apple iPad. Other experts believe that the Streak is too big for a phone and too small to be a tablet. In response Dell is marketing the Streak as a unique hybrid device, Ron Garriques has said that:
“The Dell Streak hits the sweet spot between traditional Smartphone and larger-screen tablets … Its unique size provides people new ways to enjoy connect and navigate their lives.”
Dell spokesperson Tavis Butler recently stated that the Streak is the first in a family of small screen devices created by a new Dell business division. “Streak” he said, “is a companion or consolidation device. It reduces the need to take five or six different gadgets.”
Apple’s success with the iPad, and the fact that a research company like IDC expects tablet sales to reach 7.6 million units by the end of 2010 and grow to 46 million by 2014, explains Dell’s rush to get in the tablet market, even if it’s on a quasi basis. (It’s a tablet but it’s not a tablet) .With the Streak Dell intends to try to capture a significant part of the electronic tablet market.
Because of its announced price of $500, let’s hope that in the United States Dell provides some creative financing for potential customers. In Great Britain if a customer buys a monthly data plan he or she can get the Streak for free. This is important because unlike the iPad, the Streak is also a phone and people might be willing to swap their current phone, smart or not, for the Streak because of its unique features. Creative financing will almost guarantee that Dell has a chance to compete with Apple in the tablet market. We shall see.