-- Dell starts selling 10-inch tablet with Google's Android software only in China
-- Dell will use both Android and Windows on future tablets
-- Dell is looking for acquisitions of companies with strong technology
Dell Inc. on Friday started selling a 10-inch tablet computer running on Google Inc.'s Android operating system that it will offer only in China, expanding its push into a product category dominated by Apple Inc.'s iPad.
Dell and other makers of computers and devices, such as Samsung Electronics Co. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., have sought to diversify their product lines and create new revenue streams by offering tablet devices, but the iPad has remained the market leader.
Dell's Streak 10 Pro tablet adds to the company's Streak line of tablets, which also includes 5-inch and 7-inch devices. In February, Dell said it planned to release a 10-inch tablet running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows this year.
Dell will sell the Streak 10 Pro only in China, though the company will continue expanding its mobile product line globally and will use both Android and Windows for future tablets, Michael Tatelman, Dell's vice president of global mobility sales, said at a news briefing.
Dell launched the new tablet in China because the country's market is large and Dell has a strong retail network there, Tatelman said.
The new tablet is priced at CNY2,999 ($466), which is below the price of an iPad 2, which Apple sells in China starting at CNY3,688.
Tatelman also said Dell is looking to acquire more companies with strong technology. Dell has made various acquisitions in recent years as it aims to expand into high-margin services businesses. It said last week it plans to buy privately held networking company Force10 Networks Inc., expanding its data-center offerings. People familiar with the deal said Dell is paying $700 million in cash for the company.
Tatelman played down concerns that rising sales of tablets could eat into sales in the personal-computer market. "Today I don't think there's any really clear evidence that tablets have cannibalized anything but netbooks," he said.
Dell is "pleased" with sales of its Streak tablets so far, he said, but declined to say how many units have been sold.
The iPad accounted for 74.3% of China's tablet sales in the second quarter, according to Beijing research firm Analysys International. The ranking included a 5.1% "other" category but didn't give a share for Dell.
[source: foxbusiness ]