Dell Streak(s) onto the Scene. Departure from the Scene to Follow Shortly

by Matt Klassen on August 12, 2010

What’s that in the sky? It’s not a smartphone; it’s not a tablet…wait a minute, what the heck is that thing? Don’t worry folks, it’s nothing to be alarmed about, it’s just the Dell Streak, and I would wager that if you do see it flying through the sky, it’s because someone has thrown it out their window in a fit of anger and frustration.

Several months ago when Dell unveiled what could be considered the mobile markets first hybrid smartphone/tablet device, the ears of the tech world perked up. In fact, many lauded this strange new device as innovative and revolutionary… but that was then.

Fast forward to today as the Streak is set for its nationwide release, and suddenly the tech world is singing a different tune; more along the lines of, why would anyone want to buy that thing?

While the initial attraction of the Streak was that it could conceivably offer the average tech user a workable hybrid solution between a smartphone and a tablet device, it is exactly this point, in my mind, that will see the Streak quickly fade from view.

The fact is, while the Streak does boast some of the upsides of both market genres—it has a large 5” multi-touch screen, sports an Android operating system, and has a speedy 1 GHz processor that is at least comparable to the popular market incumbents—it still is, when compared to any smartphone or tablet device, a disappointing—and not to mention, extremely dorky—effort.

For a device that is neither a decent smartphone or a particularly usable tablet device, what the Streak does have in all the major weaknesses of both mobile genres, and it has them in spades. This means, simply put, that it’s too small to be a tablet, way too big to a smartphone, it lacks the power or functionality of a tablet, and its operating system is disconcertingly antiquated— sporting the all but obsolete Android v1.6.

What this all adds up to is a device that has no conceivable use in the mobile market. It lacks the power needed to be a usable business device, it lacks the innovation to succeed in the tablet market, and since it obscures half your face while you talk on it, I would say it lacks the convenience of a mobile phone. Couple all that with a staggering price tag of $300 with a two year contract and it begs the question, what is Dell thinking?

If companies design devices that meet the expectations of the day, when that device hits the market months down the road they will find not only that it is no longer cutting edge, its probably not even relevant. For a device to succeed in today’s rapidly advancing mobile/tablet market, companies that want to market successful devices need to plan for the future. You want to compete with the iPad or iPhone? Don’t make something that does what they do today; make something that exceeds what they’ll be able to do in six (6) months or a year; that’s the only way.

So while we are taking this time to say ‘hello’ to the new Dell Streak, let’s not waste any more time on it and give it a ‘farewell’ as well. Thanks for coming Streak, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

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