Dell will be releasing a 7-inch Streak tablet/mobile-internet device shortly, according to the company's top Chinese executive.  (Source: Dell)
New 7-inch model will keep the Streak brand name

The 5-inch Dell Streak is currently available in the U.S., the UK and select other countries.  While that mobile-internet device offers a bit of the capabilities of the iPad in a smaller package, many are awaiting larger tablet alternatives to the iPad, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

To those ends, Dell Greater China President Amit Midha reports that the company will be launching a 7-inch tablet, also bearing the Streak brand name, in just a few weeks.  He is quoted by The Wall Street Journal as remarking, "It was showed off at Oracle World by Michael [Dell] last week and we'll be launching very, very soon—within the next few weeks."

Dell's announcement comes hot on the heels of Research in Motion's unveiling of its 7-inch "PlayBook" tablet.

Mr. Midha also said that a 10-inch tablet -- a direct competitor to the 9.7-inch iPad -- will be coming in 6-12 months.  That long delay certainly gives Apple plenty of time to rake in cash from its unchallenged market position.  It's somewhat astounding that a direct 10-inch competitor to the iPad won't arrive until almost a year after Apple's launch, especially considering the iPad is currently selling 2.3+ million units a month.

The 7-inch tablet, according to Mr. Midha will run Android OS.  Considering its impending launch, it will likely be powered by Android 2.2 "Froyo" -- just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Mr. Midha said that some future Dell tablets would be powered by Windows operating systems -- presumably the 10-inch model included.  No plans for tablets powered by Google's new Chrome OS were discussed.

Dell is expanding its roll-out of th 5-inch streak to Australia.  The device will go on sale Friday, priced at $649 AD($628 USD) with new contract from Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. subsidiary Optus.  The handheld will air in China later this year.  China Mobile Ltd. will provide wireless service for the device and for Dell's upcoming Android/Windows Mobile 7 smart phones.

In other news, Mr. Midha says that China in two years -- by 2012 -- will pass the U.S. as the world's largest computer market.  He says that the Chinese market is expected to grow 18 to 20 percent this year alone.  He also said that Dell expects to see its revenue top $60B USD, globally.  Dell has recently posted impressive growth as competitors have struggled.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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