Dell to move into smartphone market?

Dell unveiled a prototype smartphone at a China Mobile event on Monday, which has sparked rumours that the computer manufacturer is set to move into the mobile space.

When China Mobile introduced a new Android-based mobile platform yesterday, it used a candybar handset designed by Dell to showcase the technology.

Reportedly called the Del Mini 3i, the touchscreen proof of concept device is not geared for commercial launch according to Dell, which refused to confirm that it would be moving into mobile.

“Dell was there supporting China Mobile as a development partner. We did not confirm or announce anything,” said a Dell spokesman.

Dell’s potential move into mobile could possibly throw a lifeline to the manufacturer that has seen revenues drop for three consecutive quarters as consumers put off large PC purchases due to economic concerns.

The business has expanded its offerings since brining in former head of Motorola’s mobile phone division, Ron Garriques, to run its consumer business in 2007.

Last September, chief executive officer, Michael Dell, stated the business may one day sell smaller devices with smartphone-style features. It seems that day has come.