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The Dell Streak 5 is dead in the U.S., but apparently it's taken a road trip to China. Dell has announced that the Streak 5 will be the cornerstone of a new alliance with Baidu.  (Source: Dell)

Baidu, one of the strongest domestic brand names in China, has been lusting to follow American rival Google into the smart phone and tablet market. Now it has its chance.  (Source: 9 to 5 Google)
The U.S.'s loss is China's gain -- or is it?

In the realm of deals that seem technically sound on paper, but are uncertain when it comes to execution, Dell Inc. (DELL) has entered an alliance with Chinese internet giant Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) to produce tablets and smartphones.

Much like rival Hewlett-Packard Comp. (
HPQ), Dell has struggled to find the success in the mobile devices market that it enjoyed in the PC market.  In fact, just days before HP's highly publicized decision to discontinue the TouchPad, Dell quietly discontinued its Streak 5 tablet (August 15), posting a page proclaiming, "Goodbye, Streak 5.  It's been a great ride."

Interestingly, Dell's decision to kill the Streak apparently doesn’t apply to the Chinese market.  In fact, the Streak 5 is expected to be its first Baidu-branded smartphone to hit the market.  A Dell spokeswoman stated, "We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space."

Over the summer Dell 
launched a 10-inch Streak exclusively in China, skipping the U.S. and European markets.  While Dell still maintains the Dell Streak 7 (inch) tablet and the Venue (Android) and Venue Pro (Windows Phone 7) smart phones in the U.S., the company seems more focused on winning over the lucrative Chinese market.

China has an 
estimated 906+ million mobile phones in operation, making it nearly three times as big a market as the United States.

Apple, Inc. (
AAPL) has seen a great deal of success in China with its iPad and iPhone, which are viewed as status symbols among Chinese professionals and youth.  One Chinese youth even sold his kidney to purchase an iPad.

Meanwhile Baidu, a company some say closely parallels America's Google Inc. (
GOOG), has thus far sat on the sidelines during the device war.  Now the company is finally preparing to strike, but it is unclear whether it will opt to build its own proprietary operating system or go with the OS currently used in Dell's streak series -- its rival Google's Android OS.

Regardless of its choice, Dell is clearly hoping to cash in on Baidu's strong brand recognition in China.  But analysts say that may not happen.  States Michael Clendenin, managing director of technology consultancy RedTech Advisors, in an interview with Reuters, "I suspect this is just Dell, who has a lot of problems on the mobile and tablet front, grasping at straws to get any kind of publicity that it can to make its product more attractive. Ultimately in China, I still think it is Apple's game, still for the iPad and iPhone."





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