The first smartphone from Dell
Almost buried as an afterthought in AT&T's announcement of coming smartphones from Palm
That was just about when Apple
The Aero appears to be a rehashed Mini 3, the smartphone Dell sells in markets like China and Brazil. A few months of working out the kinks in this design elsewhere should ensure a trouble-free product for the American market, even if the hardware might lag behind top-shelf models like the Nexus One.
The Aero is not likely to make a huge splash when it hits store and virtual shelves later this year. Dell's brand name might attract a few curious shoppers, but there are lots of other smartphones with equally strong consumer pulls and other selling points, including an onrush of Android devices. Dell will get lost in the flood, at least for a while. If the Aero gets a sequel, one that applies the lessons learned from this first outing, Dell might become a force to be reckoned with in call-enabled PDAs. Uh, I mean "smartphones."
Check Dell's smartphone business again in 2011 or 2012, in other words.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.