Dell is set to debut a new smartphone based on Google's Android platform in the US and in Europe as early as in the first quarter of 2010 according to sources close to the plan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company would be teaming up with AT&T to launch the handset early next year. AT&T is the exclusive carrier for Apple's iPhone and it is not known whether the oPhone, which would be AT&T's first Android phone, would also be exclusive to the US network operator.
It would also be a major breakthrough for Google, whose Android platform would be present on all major US wireless phone networks.
Verizon Wireless has yesterday said that it would be partnering with Google over new handsets while Sprint is already offering the HTC Hero and the Samsung Moment.
The Texan computer manufacturer already has an Android based mobile phone in China called the Mini 3i or the oPhone (where it is sold as a GSM device without 3G or WiFi) and it looks likely that the model to be introduce will be an updated version of the oPhone.
A spokesperson for Dell said that the company is "deeply engaged with our operator partners around the world to deliver mobile broadband enabled computing devices" and that "We haven't announced anything around voice or Android although we continue to explore opportunities in those areas with operators around the world."
The successor to the Axim range of PDA would be a welcomed addition to Dell's range of products. Dell has a very good reputation with businesses worldwide and Dell could possibly proposed a small business solution that could bring together hardware, software, services and telecommunications.