Does Dell Have A Prayer to Compete with the iPhone? The Answer is Most Likely, “No”
Eric Zeman of Information Week speculated in a weblog posting yesterday that Dell may be ready to jump in the smartphone war. Ron Garriques (a former Motorola bigshot) was apparently hired by Dell last year to “revamp their mobile product lineup.” Add that to a Forbes report citing a jointly developed smartphone in the works by Dell and Quanta and you have a “potential” iPhone killer on your hands.
Or do you? Just because Dell makes computers much like Apple does, it does not mean that they can compete in the phone market. Some may argue that Google or Microsoft can’t compete with Apple in the phone market either.
Dell tried to compete with Apple before: releasing the often ridiculed DJ Ditty in an attempt to take down the iPod. Shortly after, the Ditty was nothing more than a device in the Clearance section of the Dell Store.
Companies like Dell cannot compete with the iPhone because they are not thinking the same way as Apple. I may even go as far to say they are not capable of thinking
the same way as Apple. Apple attacks a need and then creates around it. And it happens to look drop dead gorgeous in the process.
Companies like HP and Dell latch on to a tool and then tries to make it into a product. Until companies start thinking about iPhone 2.0 rather than another iPhone 1.0, they will fail as miserably as the Dj Dittys and Zunes before them.
I find it interesting that it is the media that always attaches “iPod Killer” to other companies’ products. Having worked in product development at Dell I can say sometimes companies realize they aren’t going to beat a competitor’s product and that coming in 2nd or 3rd will yield a pretty nice chunk of profit itself. In short…they never intended to “kill” the iPod.