Dell dumps smartphones worldwide as Windows touch takes focus

Dell has ditched its global smartphone business, stepping out of the handset game as it instead focuses on Windows tablets and its traditional PC and laptop ranges. Confirmed by Dell consumer business chief Jeff Clarke at the Dell World conference yesterday, Forbes reports, the smartphone segment had soured for the firm because "it needs a lot of investments to really be successful" the exec argued. Part of that investment is in finding out exactly how to monetize Android, something Dell says it found impossible.

"It's a content play with Android" Clarke argued. "Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn't find a way to build a business on Android." The company had adopted Google's platform for the Streak tablet, as well as the little-loved Streak 7 follow-up, as well as hedging its bets with a pair of Windows Phone devices.

The Streak tablets died in mid-August, however, while the Windows Phones were yanked from the US market earlier this year. At the time, Dell spokespeople insisted that the move didn't imply a complete abandonment of the smartphone segment, but it now appears that such a withdrawal was indeed on the cards.

Still, Clarke says, Dell is experimenting with potential implementations for possible future devices. "It doesn't mean we're not looking at Android" he said. "You should come and see what's in our labs."

For the moment, though, Dell will focus on Windows 8 and Windows RT, with the company revealing a spray of new and updated products running Microsoft's latest OS. That will hopefully help turn around the recent financial dip, which Dell has suggested will be smoothed over thanks to touchscreen Windows products.