So far AT&T have been pretty cagey when it comes to Android on their network, but it looks like 2010 is the year when it all kicks off. The carrier has just announced that it will be pushing out five Android-based handsets in the first half of this year, complete with models from HTC, Motorola and Dell. SlashGear is at AT&T's CES 2010 press conference this morning, and will be bringing you all the details as they arrive.
Update: AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega just confirmed that the carrier will offer two Palm webOS device in the first half of 2010 too.
HTC's potential tablet plans have always been played down by the company - CEO Peter Chou edged around speculation a few months back, before speculating that his engineers were "carefully looking" at netbook possibilities later on - but that hasn't stopped the rumors. According to Smarthouse HTC are preparing "several working models of a touch tablet", including at least one running Google Chrome OS; their sources reckon HTC will be giving private demos of an Android version at CES 2010 next week.
It looks like Dell's Mini 3i smartphone is prompting just as much interest in Android over in China as it does in the US and Europe, as one modder has created their own huge version of the touchscreen handset. According to Shanzai, the project started off as a Dell Mini 10 netbook - which means this replica Mini 3i has a 10-inch display - which was then reshaped into the smartphone form-factor. You can see a timelapse video of the conversion after the cut.
Only this morning we were pondering why Apple gets all the decent tablet rumors, and now Dell have stepped - or been pushed - into the fray. According to Pocket-lint, their unnamed sources have spilled the beans on an incoming Dell Android tablet, bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a regular netbook, arriving at CES 2010 in January. To us, it sounds a whole lot like the Dell Streak we spotted back in October.
Dell may have come clean regarding their Mini 3i Android-powered smartphone earlier this month, but hard specifications for the touchscreen handset were tougher to come by. Happily a China Mobile press release has filled in some of the technical blanks, confirming that the Dell Mini 3i headed to their shores later this month has a 3.5-inch 640 x 360 16:9 display and measures 58.35 x 122 x 11.7 mm.
Having been spotted in prototype form last month, Dell's Streak MID has received another shot of intrigue with Chinese rumor-monger Commercial Times claiming knowledge of both a manufacturer and a US carrier partner. According to their report, the Streak will be built by Qisda and released in the US with AT&T data in 2010.
Dell's Mini 3i may only have been official for a few hours, but already the first unboxing is upon us. PConline have taken the glossy Android smartphone from box to bench, and there are a few surprises to be had; firstly, Dell have ignored the swathe of popular opinion and not bothered including a 3.5mm headphones jack, and secondly they'd dropped a stylus into the box.
Dell has come clean with its Android smartphone plans, revealing it will be launching the Dell Mini 3i in China "in the coming days" while a Brazilian release will take place before the end of 2009. According to Dell Latin America's Hans Erickson, China and Brazil have been prioritized above all other regions; he also revealed that the Chinese version of the Mini 3i - set to launch on China Mobile - will lack 3G, while the Mini 3i headed to Brazilian carrier Claro will get the high-speed connectivity.
Update: Dell’s official blog has confirmed the news, together with dropping strong hints that the company will be leveraging existing carrier relationships for embedded mobile broadband netbooks for future Mini 3i releases. Vodafone in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and AT&T and Verizon in North America, are both name-checked. More photos of the Dell Mini 3i after the cut.
Update 2: And now the official press release is out; still no hard specifications.
It looks like Dell is planning to release a mobile internet device, or a MID. The details are few and far between but the product—code-named Streak—looks like it packs Wi-Fi, 3G and Android 2.0 all into one. It is exactly what Intel has been calling a mobile internet device for the past few years: larger than a smartphone, primarily for accessing the Net, and featuring multimedia and even GPS functionality. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet and the leaked video of the Dell device gives us a better glimpse of what is to come and what it can do. Ironically (and you will see why later), when I watched the video I immediately thought: ah, so Dell wants to make an iPhone with a larger 5-inch screen!