Dell's Android Phone Arrives in China

Long rumored, Dell's Android-based smartphone (dubbed the mini 3i) has been seen in China. Surprisingly the HTC lookalike device does not have WiFi and is 2G (but this is v 1). For more discussion of specs and speculation about the release date, see Techmeme.  

As I said, this looks just like the HTC Magic/MyTouch Android handset, except for the absence of physical buttons on the front of the device. An interesting question to thus consider is how OEMs and carriers will differentiate these Android phones over time as more enter the market. More peripheral things such as camera, battery life and non-Android software (e.g., the HTC "Sense" interface) would presumably come into play. 

Price would also be a potentially significant factor. As I've pointed out, OEMs now can't charge more than $200 for a subsidized smartphone in the US. Would multiple Android devices from multiple handset makers and carriers drive prices farther down? 

It will be interesting to see who develops a $99 Android phone -- first. 

Here are a couple of images of Dell's Android phone in China: 

Picture 3

Picture 2

Related: China Mobile, the carrier slated to offer the Dell mini 3i, is launching an online apps store. This is analogous to other carrier apps stores (e.g., Verizon) rather than a handset OEM's (or OS maker's) apps store such as iTunes or the Android Market.