Dell Exploring Wearable Device Offering
July 5, 2013 1:26 PM
It's looking at alternatives to the PC sector
Wearable computers look to be the next big thing in tech, and despite its recent woes, Dell is going to push to make a mark in this space.
Dell's Sam Burd, global vice-president of personal computing, revealed that Dell is working on a wearable device as a way of moving from the shrinking PC market and dipping further into mobile.
"We haven't announced anything, but we are looking at the technology in that space," said Burd. "There are challenges in cost, and how to make it a really good experience. But the piece that's interesting is that computers are getting smaller. Having a watch on your wrist – that's pretty interesting, pretty appealing."
Dell is looking to make a big turnaround as its PC business dwindles in favor of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Also, in May, the company reported a 79 percent
decline in profits
, with net income falling to $130 million from $635 million compared to the same quarter of 2012.
Dell CEO Michael Dell has been looking to
take the company private
, but that has been a challenge as well as Dell's second largest shareholder -- Icahn -- made a proposal of its own, and even provided $3.42 billion (66 percent) of the debt financing for the bid. Icahn, along with investment bank Jefferies & Co, have secured $5.2 billion total.
Dell, which is being backed by buyout partner Silver Lake Management LLC in this process, was told to up his offer from $24.4 billion in order to secure approval from investor-advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). Reports have said that ISS is leaning against Dell's offer unless he increases it. Neither Dell nor Silver Lake have said whether they'll do so or not yet, but Dell's special committee of the board is pushing for Dell to make a larger offer.
Dell currently offers some mobile devices, like the Windows RT-powered XPS 10 tablet, but the device hasn't sold very well. In fact, the company
slashed the device's price
in May from $449 to $299.99.
Offering a wearable computer, which seems to be the next step in the evolution of mobile devices, could give Dell a boost in market share and sales -- but only if it releases it in a timely manner alongside the likes of Apple and Google, and if it offers a quality device with a competitive price point.
In March of this year, reports said that Apple was testing designs for the smart watch and tweaking certain features such as increasing battery life to last four or five days (it had only lasted a couple of days at the time) and working on the iPhone's iOS so it can support the device.
The iWatch, which is expected to manage some of the same tasks as the iPhone and iPad, is rumored
release as soon as this year
also announced plans to release wearable devices of their own as soon as this year. Both are likely to be Android-powered, but no other details have been released.
doesn't want to be left behind, either. It announced that we'll likely see a Windows 8-powered wearable device in the future, too.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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