Dell preparing to release a smartphone affectionately called the MePhone?

Dell smartphone rumors surface again, this time courtesy of the Wall Street Journal. People “familiar with the matter” claim that Dell is poised to jump into the mobile handset market as early as next month. The company has reportedly been working on two prototypes, one a full touchscreen and one a slider that runs either Windows Mobile or Android. Dell’s is rumored to have spent much of last year contacting suppliers, carriers and Asian handset makers in order to prepare for a smartphone release. At the same time the Wall Street Journal published its article, SAI published its own inside information on the Dell smartphone. According to its sources, the Dell smartphone will be known as the “MePhone”, which hopefully is the code name and not the final product name. The Dell phone will focus on customization and is expected to be released on September 9th, 2009 (9/9/09).

Though the idea of a Dell-branded smartphone has been downplayed by Dell in the past, the rumor does have some credence as the company has experience in building mobile devices. The Dell Axim, in particular the X50v and X51v, were groundbreaking when released in 2005/2005 and that line is still widely popular amongst PocketPC enthusiasts even though Dell ceased production almost two years ago. Dell also has Motorola’s Ron Garriques, former head of Motorola mobile handset division, on their smartphone team. Let us also not forget Zing, a encompassing tool to deliver multimedia to your mobile device. Dell also purchased Zing in 2008 and has failed to utilize this asset in any of its devices. What better place for it to be used than on a new smartphone? Though the evidence is compelling, don’t get your hopes up too high as these plans are supposedly tentative and Dell can scrap them at any time. We will have to wait until MWC 2009 or even CTIA to see if Dell makes a surprise appearance and wows us with what we hope will be a stellar offering.

[Via Silicon Alley Insider]

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