This was one device that clearly did not get a first-mover advantage. But in hindsight the 5- and 7-inch Dell Streak models were at least a couple of years ahead of their time. In 2013, dubbed by some as the year of the phablet, almost all mobile manufacturers have devices in at least one of these sizes.
But Dell does not seem to be done with its phablets yet.
"At Dell, nothing is ever a closed chapter. We are definitely having conversations with consumers and you will definitely see us come back in this space," Shishir Singh, Director EUC Marketing, Dell India told Business Today.
At present, Dell has the Latitude 10 tablets aimed primarily at the enterprise segments.
Shishir Singh, Director EUC Marketing, Dell India
Singh said the company has been able to create awareness about the effectiveness of Windows 8 tablets in the enterprise segment. "We expect the adoption to coincide with their adoption of Windows 8 as most of them are still using older versions of the operating system," he said.
Many companies in India are still using Windows XP and are expected to migrate to the new OS in the near future.
For now Dell is focusing on making touch a de facto feature in all computing devices. Microsoft too expects all devices to be touch enabled soon. "We have brought touch to a completely affordable price point of Rs 31,190. That has greatly accelerated touch usage. Earlier, touch devices were few and very expensive. Now the youth have started buying touch devices for Windows 8," Singh explained.
Till about three months back, he said, there was a Rs 7,000 premium on touch devices and this has now been brought down to Rs 3,000.
"We are taking a hit because touch panels cost at least $100. But we want touch to become de facto," he added.
But the fall in prices has not been enough to push touch. Singh says customers who can pay that little bit extra for touch are instead spending the money on getting better graphics cards or RAM. He sees touch panels becoming cheaper as the volumes go up, around early next year.
Unlike the rest of the world, Singh does not see the tablet segment eating into the PC space in India as the consumer laptop segment is also growing along with the tablet adoption here.
Dell will be refreshing its existing laptops and convertibles with the 4th generation Intel Core processors
in the coming months. The new processors would push up the prices of existing devices by a maximum of Rs 2,000.