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Dell Mini 3 Smartphone

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 Dell Mini 3 (China Mobile) Discontinued
15th November 2009

A range of phones rather than a single device, Dell Mini 3 marks this PC maker's debut into the smartphone market, following Apple, HP, Toshiba and many others.

Initially, the Dell Mini 3 range will consist of just two handsets on two different carriers - one on China Mobile, and one for the Claro network in Brazil. These may seem like odd networks to partner with, but China Mobile is the biggest mobile network worldwide with around half a billion subscribers, and Claro itself has 40 million subscribers in Brazil.

Cynics may argue that the choice of Brazil and China means that potential customers might not be put off by Dell's appalling reputation for terrible customer service (which is so bad that sometimes they break the law). But Dell aren't alone in having poor business practices, a complaint that can also be squarely made against Apple.

Dell haven't released any technical details about the two devices, except that the one bound for Claro is the only 3G one of the pair, and the Chinese version  Dell Mini 3 (Claro) [pictured top right]  runs the Ophone operating system (which is a variant of Google Android).

A publicity photo [pictured left] of Michael Dell and the president of Claro seems to show a slightly different device bound for the Brazilian market, although at first glance it looks like two handsets because one is being held at an angle.

There's no word at all on whether any phone from the Dell Mini 3 range will ever make it to Europe or the US. But Dell's lacklustre image in these markets will not help sales, and in fact the only mainstream PC maker to have been successful in crossing over to this market has been Apple. But then if Dell can somehow crack the market in China, then it won't really care too much about the rest of the world.

Images courtesy of Dell, Inc.

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