*Dell making mobile products for China Mobile
*Reports say it is developing smartphone for China
(Adds analyst comment, background)
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO Aug 17 Dell Inc
DELL.O is developing mobile devices for China Mobile Ltd
(0941.HK), according to spokesmen for the computer maker, which
has long been rumored to have ambitions in the smartphone
According to reports, Dell will launch a handset in China
called the Mini3i that will offer a full complement of music,
games and other downloadable content.
Dell said only that it is developing mobile products for
China Mobile's network, but declined comment on the type of
devices or the timing.
Spokesman Matthew Parretta said Dell did show off a
proof-of-concept mobile device prototype at a Monday event for
China Mobile's applications store.
Rumors have been circulating for months that Dell planned
to launch a smartphone, as global sales of the devices continue
to sizzle. The smartphone market grew 27 percent in the second
quarter, according to research house Gartner.
Dell, the world's No. 2 maker of PCs, would be just the
latest computer maker to embrace smartphones, which tend to
carry higher margins than PCs.
Taiwanese rivals Acer Inc (2353.TW) and ASUSTeK Computer
Inc (2357.TW) are also entering the market, which is dominated
at the high end by Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPhone and the
BlackBerry from Research in Motion Ltd RIM.TO.
CL King analyst Lawrence Harris said the Dell smartphone is
reported to be a 2G device that runs on Google's Android
platform. He said a 2G smartphone can work in China, where a 3G
network is still being rolled out.
"It makes sense for a company like Dell to enter the
smartphone market, but what they need to do is find something
that sets themselves apart."
Shares of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell fell 2 percent to
$13.92 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew and Gabriel Madway, editing by
Gerald E. McCormick)