China takes precedence for Dell

13 June 2011

BEIJING: Dell is to roll out its latest tablet, the Streak 10 Pro, in China before any other global market, in another sign of the country's increasing importance.

Following mounting speculation about the IT giant's intentions for its new slate, to be powered by Google Android, Amit Midha, Dell's president, Greater China and South Asia, discussed this strategy in depth.

"We will launch the Streak 10 Pro in China later this summer. We will evaluate other regions and segments in the second half of 2011," he wrote on a company blog.

The wider motivations behind such a move include the fact that the next billion netizens are expected to be drawn from Brazil, Russia, India and China, promising considerable possibilities for growth.

Developing nations also provided 27% of Dell's revenue in the last quarter, when Chinese sales climbed by 22% on an annual basis.

"China is the largest in the emerging market category and the second fastest-growing in the emerging market category," said Midha.

"And China is also our second largest market right after the US ... The China market in units may cross the US in the next couple of years."

Alongside digitally-literate individuals, or what were termed "prosumers", Dell is targeting the enterprise sector with the Streak 10.

"We're currently number two in the Chinese PC market," said Midha.

"We're seeing a significant increase in the number of small and medium-business users, who are adopting mobility products as part of their growth plans."

"In addition, we have a significant - and rapidly growing - retail presence in China, with more than 10,000 locations where customers can buy Dell products throughout the region."

The unique contours of the Chinese landscape have also influenced Dell's approach.

"In China, access to Google applications and the Android Market is not available today in many cases," Midha said.

"Therefore, the end product (encompassing the hardware, software, and availability of applications, services and solutions) delivered in China will be significantly different to what would be delivered in many other countries."

By contrast, delaying the introduction of the Streak 10 in areas like the US should allow Google Android time to establish its position with app developers and business owners.

"That's why it makes sense to start there. We will use what we learn in China to shape mobile products we'll offer in other places down the road," said Midha.

Data sourced from Dell/CNET; additional content by Warc staff