Business | Technology

Dell makes second foray into tablet PC space

Microsoft has a huge opportunity to enter the enterprise segment as Android tablets failed to compete with the iPad, Dell official says

  • By Naushad K. Cherrayil Staff Reporter
  • Published: 17:18 March 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dell is making its second attempt into the tablet space with Windows 8 operating system after a bad performance with Streak, based on the Android platform, in 2011.

The world’s third-biggest computer maker after HP and Lenovo is to launch its XPS 10.1-inch tablet on the first day of Gitex Shopper, which runs from April 3-6.

“We are shipping 3,000 units for the launch. It will be available in other Gulf markets in a short period of time,” Rajat Rallan, senior brand merchandising manager for Dell Middle East, Turkey and Africa, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

He said that Dell is targeting a specific segmentation and specific needs of consumers with the new tablet range. The XPS tablet is targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses and consumers.

The XPS tablet is powered by 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip and runs on Windows RT.

According to research firm IDC, the overall tablet market grew by 90 per cent year-on-year in the Middle East and Africa last year. The tablet shipments are expected to exceed portable computer shipments in the region by 2016.

“We expect to see bigger demand for tablets in the corporate segment. In particular, we expect OEMs to use the enhanced features and capabilities of the Windows 8 platform to lure their existing corporate clients into adopting tablets for their organisations. This will, however, have to be coupled with lowered prices, as tablets running on the Windows 8 operating system are much more expensive than those running on Android OS,” Victoria Mendes, a research analyst at IDC, said in a statement.

Dell launched its Latitude 10 tablet for the enterprise segment in January.

“Right now many of the enterprises in the region are testing the product and it will take at least three months for an enterprise to decide on a tablet. An enterprise product will have advanced security features and also boasts a Trusted Platform Module [TPM] chip embedded into the motherboard. With TPM users can encrypt their hard drives and keep track of lost or stolen devices,” he said.

Microsoft has a “huge opportunity to enter the enterprise segment” as Android tablets failed to compete with the iPad.

Dell also has an advantage compared to Apple, he said, and added that it has very good relations with most corporates and with the bring-your-own-device concept gaining traction in the region, Dell is in a “very good position” to meet concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management. Enterprises had no choice apart from iPad a couple of years ago.

“We are focusing on the 10-inch tablet right now and moving forward we are looking at bigger models. We will be launching an 18-inch tablet for the consumer segment within a few months,” he said.

With the docking system, the XPS 10 tablet gives around 18 hours of battery life while the tablet alone gives around eight hours of life. The XPS10 tablet alone costs less than Dh2,500 and with the docking station costs less than Dh3,000.

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