While the consensus in the industry seems to be down on Dell's
Michael Morgan, senior analyst of mobile devices at ABI Research, says Dell's first ever smartphone may be the perfect device for the small business enterprise market. According to Morgan, the phone's ability to add Microsoft Exchange support allows it to be a successful, economical enterprise market phone.
"Dell obviously has strong ties in small business with their laptops," Morgan said. "Carriers want them because it's a huge market, but they don't know how to get them. It's a difficult segment to address. Most small businesses don't have the budget for corporate phones even though they can get good deals if they have a business of more than five to eight people. However, small businesses usually shop like consumers for smartphones."
With an Android 1.5 operating system, a 3.5 inch HD display and a lighter overall size, the Aero does not have glitz of many HTC and Motorola Android phones. The operating system, which is 16 months old, is a particular sticking point for analysts like Bill Morelli of IMS research.
"Having Android 1.5 operating system makes them seem horribly dated," Morelli said. "I would hate to be an AT&T salesman and try and sell this thing next to an iPhone or another Android handset."
Yet Morgan says the Aero can be looked at as a cheap niche phone in a growing smartphone industry. The economical cost of $99 and simply array of features is why he says small businesses that can't afford costly Apple
"In the end, the smartphone market is getting huge fast. As a handset OEM (original equipment manufacturer), you need to ask, where am I going to play? HTC has said they are going to make top of the line Android phones. Motorola will make a slew of Android phones. Dell is openly saying: We're going to make smartphones that are a reflection of our laptops, for the common guy."
However, Morelli and other analysts dispute the notion that it's a good enterprise phone. He says if Dell wanted to go the enterprise route, it should have gone with Windows Mobile 7 as its operating system rather than Android 1.5
"People don't associate Dell with phones. They don't have favorable, strong brand recognition. They are struggling and I think if they wanted to make an enterprise play, Windows 7 instead of Android would have made sense," Morelli said.
Dell did not respond to requests for comment.
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