Dell said Wednesday it will launch a 7-inch Android-powered tablet device “within the next few weeks,” according to a Wall Street Journal interview with the computer maker’s China executive. The tablet would join the already unveiled “Streak” tablet and be the latest in what CEO Micheal Dell recently described as a “whole slew” of new products.
“In fact, very much in the near future we’ll be launching the seven-inch tablet as well as the additional three-inch product,” Amit Midha, Dell’s Great China President, said. Dell launched a five-inch tablet in the U.S. earlier this year and plans to offer it in Australia, starting Friday for $628. The device will also enter China “later this year,” according to Midha.
The latest tablet will run Google’s Android operating system, with later tablets using a version of Microsoft Windows and possibly Google’s Chrome OS.
Word of Dell’s upcoming launch of a seven-inch tablet comes amid a flurry of reports and rumors of if and when Apple will launch a seven-inch version of its popular iPad. Although one rumor-milled claimed a 7-inch iPad was “finished” and ready for the first-quarter of 2011, Goldman Sachs earlier this week told investors they believe a 9.7-inch iPad would be ready for the second quarter of next year.
Apple’s iPad has become the target for many PC makers caught flat-footed in the burgeoning post-desktop environment. Analysts recently have proclaimed the iPad a threat to the entire PC industry. One popular Apple analyst went so far as to say the iPad is a “Mac for the Masses,” becoming a first-choice for people who couldn’t afford an Apple computer or a second machine for those who already own a Mac.