Is Dell on a Losing Streak?

Computer maker Dell Inc., fresh off a $100 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, appears to be on the verge of another losing gamble. This time, though, instead of towing the ethics line by allegedly manipulating earnings results, Dell is toying with consumers expectations for the new tablet device, the Streak.

And it looks like potential users are less than impressed.

For one thing, Dell reportedly wont support T-Mobile as a Streak carrier. Instead, buyers would have to fork over $299 for a two-year contract with AT&T, or $549 without the hefty commitment. For another thing, the Streak, a 5-inch tablet-phone hybrid, runs on an old version of Googles Android operating system. Its an eyebrow-raising decision to launch a potential Apple iPad rival without even powering it on the latest and greatest OS update. And finally, Dells Streak marketing has been all of nonexistent. If Dell really wants to challenge the iPad, which is just a few months old, it needs to pump money into advertising, generate some excitement. As matters now stand, that Dell is releasing something called the Streak seems like a non-event.

The Streak will not go on sale this month, although pre-orders are being accepted, Dell told Computerworld late Tuesday. A release date remains unclear.

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