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110 Things Dell Doesn’t Get About the Mobile Market

1. It’s Apple’s MarketIf nothing else, it’s time Dell realizes that the mobile market is Apple’s. That company is simply delivering the best devices and value to customers. Considering Apple has sold over 100 million iPhones since launch and 15 million iPad units last year alone, the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm is one that Dell should study to determine how it can improve its chances of success in the mobile space.

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2. The Small Screen Is DeadWhen Dell first launched the 5-inch Streak, some wondered if the company was on to something by delivering such a small screen size. Now it’s clear that it wasn’t. In fact, if Apple has proven anything, it’s that larger screen sizes are ideal in the tablet space. Motorola has done the same in the smartphone market. Dell needs to stop delivering small devices (even the 7-inch Streak is too small) and start realizing that screen size matters in the mobile market.

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3. Developing A Worthwhile Smartphone Is ImportantOne of the biggest mistakes Dell made was to release the Aero smartphone before the company had a good idea of what mobile customers are looking for today. At launch, the Aero was running an outdated operating system, its design wasn’t ideal, and the marketing behind it was sub-par. Selling a worthwhile smartphone is integral to mobile success. It’s about time Dell realizes that.

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4. Develop A Tablet OSSuccess in the tablet space is about control. Apple has it. And RIM and HP want it. All the other companies, however, including Motorola and Samsung, are using an operating system in Android that makes their own device lose any semblance of uniqueness. Dell can’t fall into that trap. Following HP’s lead and offering a tablet operating system that it controls could be central to Dell rebuilding its brand in the mobile market.

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5. Marketing Is KeyIf there’s anything that Apple and Motorola have proven about the mobile market, it’s that solid advertising ideas can go a long way. Apple has successfully marketed its iPad and iPhone. Motorola has successfully promoted its Android-based smartphones. In both cases, the companies have seen strong sales because of that. It’s time for Dell to think seriously about its own marketing efforts and deliver spots that people like.

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6. Apple Isn’t the Only ThreatOne of the mistakes companies make in the mobile market is to believe that only Apple is a threat. The reality is, for Dell, every single company in that market is a real threat. If HP’s TouchPad is successful thanks to WebOS, Dell might have a harder time competing against that firm in the PC business where it plans to bundle WebOS with Windows. If Android tablet makers are successful, Dell could be pushed out of the market completely. Every vendor is a threat to Dell. And it needs to keep that in mind.

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7. Time Is Running OutIt seems that Dell has no sense of urgency. After allowing the 5-inch Streak to flounder on store shelves, it finally announced the 7-inch model. Now, customers are waiting for a 10-inch version. Dell has practically no market share in the mobile space right now. And the longer it stays that way, the worse it will be for the company. Time is of the essence, Dell. Keep that in mind.

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8. The Enterprise’s NeedsIn a recent interview, Dell’s global marketing chief said that his company is trying to appeal more to corporate customers with its tablets. Whether or not it has been successful at it, however, is up for debate. Dell needs to think about what the corporate world is really after — productivity and cost effectiveness — and eliminate all those features (or devices) that don’t align with the corporate world’s goals.

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9. Multiple Options Aren’t Always BestDell has already said that when it comes to tablets, it plans to offer both Android and Windows 7 devices. It’s a mistake. Apple, HP, RIM, and others have proven that offering a single solution to customers is best. Consumers expect to have a certain experience, no matter which company is offering the respective device. By offering multiple tablets running different operating systems, Dell can hurt its chances of appealing to customers.

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10. Android Can Be A KillerDell is following a strategy in the mobile market that it has followed for years by developing the hardware and relying on other companies to offer the software. But by relying upon Android in the smartphone and tablet spaces, it could be doing more to hurt itself than help. Android is being used by so many competitors that there’s no way for Dell to break out; it’s just one of many. For a company that has little to no market share, being one of many is not a good thing.