Dell's announcement today that it will be working with Chinese based Baidu is likely to raise some eyebrows if not the blood pressure of home rivals such as ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo; in the same way GFive Mobile teaming up with Yahoo in the US could be met with by some quizzical reactions.
The Austin-based tech company is not a force to be reckoned with globally in the tablet and smartphone market, let alone in China. Dell's Venue Android-based smartphone was launched at CES 2011 in January but has yet to reach the UK, while the Streak 5 - which is being cited as being one smartphone (opens in new tab) involved in the deal - is certainly not a match for the raft of handsets that will flood the market by the year's end, and has been retired by Dell in the US.
Dell will face a number of threats as it tries to break into the Chinese market: two of the biggest Chinese Mobile phone operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, are already lining up own-branded Android-based smartphones in order to save on subsidy money.
Then there's the bigger threat from the likes of ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and GFive Mobile; homegrown device manufacturers which will give Dell a run for its money. For example, Lenovo's latest tablet, the A1, is set to cost only $199, or just under 1300 yuan, and will nonetheless feature some rather high-end features like a 7-inch, high resolution capacitive touchscreen and 512MB RAM.