Palm and Dell Phones on AT&T

By  |  Monday, March 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

I’ve landed in Las Vegas for CTIA Wireless, the U.S.’s biggest phone confab. The show floor doesn’t open until tomorrow, but news is already breaking. AT&T, for instance, has announced that it’s adding Palm’s Pre Plus and Pixi Plus to its lineup, as well as Dell’s Android-based Aero–the first Dell phone to ship in the U.S.

At the moment, it’s fashionable to declare Palm to be dead. It’s true that things look bleak at the moment, but pundits have been writing premature obituaries for the company for years, so I’d take the current round of knowing analysis with a grain of salt. With the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus’s arrival on AT&T, there are Palm handsets on ever major U.S. carrier except T-Mobile. That can’t hurt, and might help.

(I’m sorry that the AT&T Pre Plus lacks the nifty Mobile HotSpot feature that’s available on the Verizon version. But I’m not surprised: If AT&T had enabled MHS on the Pre while continuing to deny iPhone users the tethering it said was “coming soon” back in 2008, iPhone users would have headed towards AT&T headquarters with pitchforks.)

Dell, meanwhile, is a company that hasn’t had much luck with handheld gizmos in the past (remember the DJ?). The Aero runs Dell’s own Android interface and is based on the Mini 3, which has only been available in China and Brazil until now.  I’ll try to track one down before I head home from the show.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Says:

    What’s this? Dell going with an OS that isn’t Windows? I’m surprised.

  2. sfmitch Says:

    Harry, you make it sound like people are looking at Palm’s financial health and mis-representing the facts to fit a sexy headline.

    The truth is that Palm IS in trouble. The only data that you can absolutely believe is a company’s financial SEC filings. The cold, hard facts tell a story and the story about Palm is bleak. Palm has money in the bank but they have debt that exceeds their cash. Palm has stuffed the channel and will now have reduced sales regardless of how they do at retail.

    Even more troubling is that they are losing in the marketplace. Palm will have a very tough time succeeding against Apple, RIM, Android and Microsoft. Why consumers aren’t choosing Palm is tough to say, but the fact is that consumers are NOT choosing Palm. Less marketshare = less developer interest = less compelling 3rd party Apps = less marketshare…..etc. etc.

    Harry, did you read the Jean-Louis Gassée article? Did you find anything incorrect in the article? anything misleading?

    AT&T is really striking while the iron is hot. I can’t imagine a worse time to be bringing the Palm platform on board.

  3. tom b Says:

    “Why consumers aren’t choosing Palm is tough to say,”

    Palm had its several months of fame; now, Android is having a few months in the spotlight. These wannabe-“iPhone killers” have a short half-life.

    There are other factors: high HW fail rate; no “real” apps; just web “widgets”.

    “AT&T is really striking while the iron is hot. ” ATT is like an arms merchant. They work with anybody, everybody, without looking at any “big picture” or overall strategy.

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