Computer-manufacturer Dell – on a mission to make a name for itself in the mobile space – has reportedly won a deal to supply Android-powered handsets to US operator AT&T. The Wall Street Journal claims that Dell is expected to launch the phone in the US next year, its first dive into the country’s competitive mobile market. AT&T is the second-largest US mobile operator and exclusive provider of Apple’s iPhone. Dell is also believed to be talking to other US operators, including T-Mobile. Dell already sells netbooks – inexpensive mini laptops with broadband Internet connections – through mobile operators worldwide but has long been linked to a major smartphone push. Dell is already providing China Mobile with Android-based handsets.
The AT&T/Dell deal would also be a major boost for Google, developer of the Android operating system. After a slow start Android is now gaining significant market presence. T-Mobile and Sprint already support Android devices in the US, and market leader Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday a high-profile deal with Google for the platform. Google said this week that nine Android devices have so far been announced, across 32 mobile operators in 26 countries.