Dell today detailed its upcoming Dell Streak (Mini 5) Android tablet with some interesting details.
The device will be released initially in the UK on O2 with follow-up rollouts in the US and elsewhere starting later this summer. What's interesting about this device is that it isn't being branded as a 'Smartphone' and may not be sold with voice options, even though it contains 3G hardware for data (and in the video below the demonstrator mentions using it as a phone).
"The Dell Streak hits the sweet spot between traditional smartphones and larger-screen tablets," said Ron Garriques, president, Dell Communication Solutions Group. "Its unique size provides people new ways to enjoy, connect, and navigate their lives."
PR jargon aside, this is a big turning point for devices. If we assume that O2 and whatever US carrier (probably AT&T) carry this device will only charge for data which, using the iPad as a precedent, would be about $30/month. But this device is small enough to fit in pockets and small purses so it can be used as a phone. Even if you have to buy a laptop data plan, it is still less expensive than a smartphone data+voice plan.
That's where this gets tricky. And revolutionary. Google's Voice product (which you can hear Dell endorsing below) will soon integrate Gizmo5 VoIP solutions to become a full featured VoIP phone. With optional 3G data plans from carriers, this becomes a full featured (some would say Google Voice gives you more than full voice features) smartphone.
Or if you only want to use Wifi or a Mifi, you can use this as a phone without its own plan.
You don't even have to wait for Google to release its VoIP product. Currently, Skype doesn't make their application for Android, but other apps like Fring can be used to make Skype or SIP calls on Android devices.
The Streak also has a front-facing camera which could be used to video chat as well. Google has been busy buying up companies that optimize voice and video over IP.
Dell Streak full specs and video below:
Employees at Carphone Warehouse, the U.K.'s largest cellphone retailer and the main distributor of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone in Britain, have been caught trying to mislead customers about what is and isn't covered by the purchase agreement, according to the BBC.
Responding to viewer complaints, undercover researchers from BBC One's Watchdog unit visited five Carphone Warehouse stores. In three out of the five, a salesperson told BBC staffers posing as customers that MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 29, 2007 11:54 AM ET
For the faithful, waiting long hours in line for a new Apple (AAPL) product has become one of those formative experiences they'll be retailing to their grandchildren.
It's "a bit like going to a rock concert," Paul Waite told the London Times after sitting in the bitter cold outside Apple's Regent Street store for 12 1/2 hours on Friday for a chance to buy an iPhone on its first day of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 10, 2007 1:24 PM ET
|ID'ing alleged Bitcoin creator leads to L.A. car chase|
|Wal-Mart slashes iPhone prices|
|Albertsons to merge with Safeway|
|Russia already paying price for Ukraine|
|Boeing to end pension plans for non-union employees|