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Dell hanging up on U.S. smartphone market?

A company representative says the PC maker has discontinued sales of its Venue and Venue Pro, and no replacements are in the offing.

Dell Venue
The Dell Venue is off the market.

Dell is putting its U.S. smartphone effort on hold.

The PC giant has ceased sales of its Venue and Venue Pro smartphones in the U.S. and no replacements have been announced. A Dell representative said the phones were discontinued because they had reached the end of their lifespans.

"Mobility products have shorter lifecycles than laptops and desktops," a company spokesman told PC World.

More mobile products are expected to be released later this year, but the spokesman did not say whether a new smartphone would be among them.

The smartphone exit comes just a few months after Dell pulled the plug on its enterprise-focused Dell Streak, an Android-powered device that was met with mixed reviews. However, the Round Rock, Texas-based company said it had learned from the mistakes that other tablet makers and planned to re-enter the sector with a consumer-oriented device.

The formerly dominant PC maker has had a rocky history in the mobile market. It briefly sold Apple iPods about 10 years ago and then tried to take on the future tech giant with its own DJ Ditty MP3 players. Dell eventually gave up on MP3 players in 2006, after three years of fighting the iPod juggernaut.

The company's effort to challenge Apple in the smartphone sector began in March 2010 when it announced the Android-based Aero. However, the phone did not make its actual debut until September 2010 -- and only to disappointing reviews. The Venue Pro, while it was eventually warmly received, was also hobbled by shipping delays.