Michael Dell is set to take back control of the company he founded, Dell Inc. His $24.9 billion bid, with the backing of his private equity partner Silver Lake Partners, to make the PC maker private has recently gained shareholders’ approval.
In a statement, Mr. Dell assured everyone that he would bring Dell back to the top of its game. This early, he is disclosing many plans for the company. However, resuming its failed foray into the mobile phone business would definitely not be part of those plans.
In an interview with CNBC, Mr. Dell declared that under his helm, the company would not be expected to make smartphones again. However, he reiterated that Dell would take advantage of the growing mobile market in many other ways.
He pointed out that operating a mobile phone business could be quite costly. That is because it would need further investments on servers, infrastructure, and storage. He added that handset makers also need to ensure protection and security of data on their products.
Not making smartphones again
However, Dell may possibly resell smartphones made by other vendors, while it focuses on its own enterprises. The company would also increase its investment into cloud computing and make many other client devices like tablets.
To many market analysts, Mr. Dell’s decision to keep Dell away from handsets may not be surprising. That is because the company’s past forays into that business segment did not do well. Some experts think that the company may have a hard time becoming an effective computing player without having involvement in smartphone manufacturing.
Past attempts to sell handsets
Dell formed its handset unit in 2007 but disbanded it in November 2010. That may possibly be blamed to the failure of its first Android-powered smartphone called Aero to make its own mark when it was launched in 2010. The device was criticized for its inferior design. Incidentally, Aero was distributed by AT&T, which that time had just discontinued its own unlimited data plans.
Within the same year, Dell’s higher-end smartphones called Venue and Venue Pro were also released. Both Windows Phone 7 devices still failed to catch consumers’ attention, which that time was focused on Apple Inc’s iPhone. Shortly after those failures, Dell launched its Streak and Streak 7devices. Both products tried to blur the thin lines separating smartphones and tablets. Again, those were pulled out of the market due to poor sales.