Some analysts think Dell may introduce a Windows Mobile based smartphone at 3GSM or the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona next month.
"The exact timing of Dell's launch is not clear but our sources indicate it is closer to reality than before," says Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Bros. in a research note. "We believe it is likely inevitable that Dell enter the cellphone space given the cannibalization of PCs by smartphones and highly functional mobile devices."
Dell has been studying the cellphone market and talking with component suppliers and manufacturers for nearly two years, says Wu.
A Dell smartphone, if it arrives, will be entering an incredibly competitive market. In the past year Apple, RIM and HTC among others have launched new touchscreen devices. And there's more to come from other players, including Palm.