Hot on the heels of Baidu’s new mobile OS launch, reports are circulating that the Chinese search giant is partnering with Dell to build tablets and mobile phones.
China is a goldmine in terms of potential consumers. With over 900 million mobile subscribers, China is becoming one of the fastest growing tablet markets, as well. As the Google of the Eastern world, Baidu should have no problem marketing hardware under its brand name. And Dell’s business in China seems to have picked up as well, though the name carries far less weight with consumers than Baidu’s.
According to an analyst who spoke with Reuters, Dell may be “grasping at straws” in an attempt to breathe life into its tablet business. The Dell Streak 5 tablet has been discontinued in the States, but a Dell spokesperson said that the company “has a partnership with Baidu [and] the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space.” It’s not clear whether that means we should expect a Chinese version of the Dell Streak 5 or just another similar minitab.
Either way, Dell and Baidu will face some strong competition in China. Lenovo has seen great success in the Chinese market over the past few years, and Apple has an almost terrifyingly strong presence there. We’ve heard of girls giving up their virginity for an iPhone 4 and a Chinese teenager selling his kidney for an iPad 2.
With brand dedication like that it may be more difficult than expected to rip people away from their beloved Apple. And the companies won’t have much time to do so, either. Though neither company gave a solid timeline, a spokesperson said we may see the partnership’s first offering in as early as November.