Baidu, Dell team up for tablets and mobiles

Updated: 2011-09-06 14:44


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SHANGHAI - Dell Inc is partnering China's top search engine Baidu Inc to develop tablet computers and mobile phones, targeting the Chinese market now dominated by Apple Inc and Lenovo devices.

Baidu, Dell team up for tablets and mobiles

A woman walks past the company logo of Baidu at its headquarters in Beijing in this Feb 10, 2010 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

China is one of the fastest growing markets for tablets and is home to more than 900 million mobile phone subscribers. Analysts said the tie-up could be Dell's way to revive its flagging tablet business.

"I suspect this is just Dell, who has a lot of problems on the mobile and tablet front, grasping at straws to get any kind of publicity that it can to make its product more attractive," said Michael Clendenin, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors.

"Ultimately in China, I still think it is Apple's game, still for the iPad and iPhone."

Baidu is one of China's best known brands and a mobile phone or tablet carrying the Baidu name will be able to leverage on that recognition all over China, analysts said.

Dell declined to give a timeline for the launch of the devices, but local media reported on Sept 6, quoting sources, that it may be as early as November.

"We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space," a Dell spokeswoman told Reuters on Sept 5, adding that both companies were also cooperating on the mobile handset front.

Dell's Streak 5 tablet is a five-inch Android-based tablet that was discontinued in the United States last month.