Dell to launch Axim phone?

Missing the Dell Axim PDA range? Perk up: Dell is reportedly developing a range of smart phones that run Android and Windows Mobile

You may have been utterly devastated when Dell stopped manufacturing its cheapo Axim PDAs, but the word on the street is that Dell is planning to get in on the smart phone action. According to the Wall Street Journal, the PC maker has had a group of engineers locked in an underground bunker developing smart phones for over a year now.

The smart phones reportedly run on either Windows Mobile or Android and supposedly feature variants with touchscreens and slide-out Qwerty keypads. We'd definitely like to see an inexpensive Dell Android phone, but only time will tell if this rumour is true -- Dell is keeping schtum for the moment.

This move makes complete sense though, as consumers increasingly see smart phones as an effective way of computing on the go. iPhone sales have rocketed over the past year, which must have got Michael Dell's eyes $$$ing -- but can his tech boys pull off a decent handset?

We think Dell is in a very good position to do something cool using Android, particularly since it has a track record of pumping out cheap, solid products. If it creates some kind of dreary little Axim-style PDA-phone hybrid, however, we don't think it'll fly. Dell needs to get some hot designers in to inject the flair the T-Mobile G1 was missing.

We'll keep you updated with any Dell smart phone news over the coming year and hope to see something out at Mobile World Congress. Judging by the company's silence at the moment though, we certainly don't expect to see anything hit the market before the summer, or probably even the end of the year.

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