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Alienware Planning Android iPhone Killer? 152

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the competition-means-better dept.
meteorit found a story about rumors of an Alienware phone based on Google's Android phone OS. As Dell has a history of bombing with handhelds, it would be interesting to try the Alienware brand instead. And I'm not exactly sure where they get off claiming that their drawings are the first pictures of the thing. Cheesy renderings designed explicitly for your website are not quite pictures of a product... they are artists impressions.
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Alienware Planning Android iPhone Killer?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:23AM (#22445096)
    ...this thing looks more like a creepy, Gigeresque sex toy than a phone? Sil [wikipedia.org] would be pleased.
  • iPhone killer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:26AM (#22445106)
    I don't think the iPhone has attained the status that any new smartphone must be considered a competitor first and foremost to it. Especially when, as in this case, it's a completely different styling concept. I do see iPhones here and there, but by far most people still use other cellphones, so I do not think the iPhone merits a reference in the title of every story about cellphones.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:38AM (#22445188)
    This looks like a cheap POS, look at how much space is wasted by that grill. There's absolutely NO way this is an iPhone killer, this looks more like some kids first phone that they are going to glue plastic beads to or put .25 cent vending machine stickers on. There's no QWERTY keyboard, and the screen on the phone uses no more than 1/3rd of the phone's realestate. No one is going to be sending e-mail back and forth on it, no one is going to be texting with this thing, and enterprise corporations arent going to buy batches of 30,000 of these to hand out to their sales staff. I can see it being used as a MP3 player, but at best I see this being marketed as a kids first phone.
  • Eat up Martha (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:43AM (#22445228) Homepage Journal
    As Dell has a history of bombing with handhelds

    So does Apple, fool.
  • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:46AM (#22445246)
    I really don't think that now the iPhone is the phone to beat. Most people I know have a RAZR or similar, while they would like an iPhone as most people would, the $600 price tag plus dealing with AT&T makes them not buy one.
  • Butt Ugly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:47AM (#22445258)
    That may be the ugliest piece of hardware I have ever laid my eyes on.

    As for an iPhone killer? Why is everything these days an iPhone killer? This abomination does not compete with the iPhone in any way. Completely different design (if you can call it that) aesthetic. It's not based on a touch screen. Any mention of an iPhone killer exists only to drive people to the site so they can have a look. If the title was 'Dell subsidy designs cellphone, beats it with ugly stick' they would not get as much traffic.
  • bombing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by llZENll (545605) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:48AM (#22445260)
    "Dell has a history of bombing with handhelds"

    The Dell Axim series was one of the most popular Pocket PCs in history, I would bet they sold several times more Axims than Apple has sold iPhones.

    The highest powered Axims released in the later years of the series was more powerful and feature rich than the iPhone. The x50 had VGA, touchscreen, wifi, BT, SD/CF, IR, 620mhz CPU, over 6000 software apps, and came out in 2004.

    If Dell was serious about releasing an iPhone 'killer' all they would have to do is resurrect their x50 and add phone support and it would be better than the iPhone except for the interface. After releasing 6 PDA models they have the knowledge and experience to easily do this. Its probably only a matter of business contracts with the mobile carriers that is holding them back.
  • Re:Proof? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:48AM (#22445266)

    Not to mention Alie nware can't make a cell phone if it meant their life. They can barely make laptops (the build quality isn't very good), and their case designs are generics from Asian suppliers, modified slightly to give it that distinct Alienware style at the top. I don't believe they have the engineering expertise to build a mobile system from the ground up - not when their status is merely a (substandard quality, overpriced) systems integrator.

    Hell, the iPhone's only *real* advantage is its incredibly slick and easy UI. That Alienphone concept has a UI that looks convoluted enough that even a techie like myself will get lost.

  • by MikeUW (999162) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:51AM (#22445284)
    Based on these fictional images, it looks like this thing will just be uncomfortable in general. The grill things will probably break at some point too, and AC mentions, waste space. I don't see how this thing has anything to do with the iPhone. The fact that it will be based on Android is somewhat cool. But otherwise it's physical design/functionally looks like just about every other modern cellphone, and as I understand it, the physical design/UI is what really makes the iPhone most distinctive.
  • Re:iPhone killer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:52AM (#22445288) Homepage
    I was just wondering that myself. Other points, from the article:

    It would have the striking design to make an impression in a mobile market dominated by fashion phones...
    Eh? It looks like something you get free in a cereal packet. Wasting half the form factor on a pointless grille != good design.

    ...it would instantly be the coolest phone on the market thanks to the popularity of the Alienware brand...
    No, it would be bought by a few die-hard Alienware fanatics who don't mind trading features for silly design. It looks like it's got relief details on that fascia, they snag in your pocket. This is not a cool design, no matter how many blinky lights it has.

    ...it would have the marketing muscle of Dell behind it to push it beyond its established niche and into the mainstream...
    It would have to play on the Alienware brand which at the moment, at least in tech circles, has connotations of overpricing. For Joe Public, I doubt they would see the point in this phone because it would have the 'Gaming' association of Alienware.

    ...and it would be the mobile gamer's dream, just as video gaming on mobile phones is starting to enter the picture.
    I don't know how they work this out. Video gaming on mobile phones isn't starting to enter the picture at all, because most people only want their phones to play idle games of Snake on at most. Hardcore mobile gamers would want something easy to play on, the design of this doesn't look to offer much hope of that. More intense gamers wouldn't care for the tiny screen and poor quality graphics, and to make it even stand a chance at reasonable gaming it would sacrifice loads of battery. Perhaps that's why it has the grille, it's to fit a huge battery pack behind.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:53AM (#22445296)
    Indeed, Android is a platform. Just googled it up and came up with this link: http://code.google.com/android/ [google.com]. It says in part...

    "The Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies, is developing Android: the first complete, open, and free mobile platform."

    But the title suggests that there is an Android phone which will be killed! Android is a platform just like Linux, and Alienware's device will be based on the Android platform. so to me, this development will perpetuate Android instead of killing it.

    It's like saying..."Bogaboga Systems is gonna come up with a Linux killer which will be based on Linux!" This does not make much sense to me.

  • iPhone killer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ptomblin (1378) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @10:58AM (#22445324) Homepage Journal
    I'm hoping for an "iPhone done right", and this aint it. By "iPhone done right", what I'm looking for is something that will replace my Treo and my iPod. I definitely like the real keyboard on the Treo - the touch keyboard on my wife's iPod Touch sucks. I also like the fact that the Treo has cut and paste, so I can trim down the quoted part of email. And it's compatible with my Palm apps. But the iPhone is multi-tasking, has a much better web browser, and would mean I don't have to carry around a separate iPod. If something could combine the virtues of both, I'd be right there in line.
  • Re:bombing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natrius (642724) <niranNO@SPAMniran.org> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @11:01AM (#22445338) Homepage

    If Dell was serious about releasing an iPhone 'killer' all they would have to do is resurrect their x50 and add phone support and it would be better than the iPhone except for the interface.

    The interface is the device.

  • fugly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZipprHead (106133) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @11:05AM (#22445360) Homepage
    How is something this ugly going to be an Iphone killer?
  • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @11:46AM (#22445614)

    I don't see how this thing has anything to do with the iPhone.
    That's because it doesn't have anything to do with the iPhone. The iPhone isn't even mentioned in the linked article.

    However, "iPhone" in the headline attracts more attention.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:13PM (#22445782) Journal
    It's exactly the reason that so many 'iPod killers' have failed. You start with the iPod and say to an engineer 'make a better one of these,' so the engineer goes away, lists all of the features that iPod doesn't have, and starts adding them. Along the way, marketing gets involved, and adds a few more features (which probably don't integrate well with the existing ones).

    After a year or so, they come up with something that is bigger than the iPod, but has a load more features. They ramp up the hype machine and tell everyone about all of the great features it has. Consumers then go into a shop and look for a device with a nice form factor which has the one feature they actually want - the ability to play music - and buy an iPod. Yet another company fails to kill the iPod.

    If you want to kill the iPhone, start with the form factor. Design goal number one should be to make something that fits better in the hand than the iPhone. Then take a look at all of the features in all of the smartphones out there, and rank them by utility. Start at the top of the list (presumably 'making voice calls') and keep adding them until just before your user interface starts to get cluttered. Then stop.

  • by i4u (234028) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:16PM (#22445804) Homepage
    exactly it is just a rumor without a source and fake photos. congrats to the webmaster on getting this story slashdotted. Oh, have you heard about the Coca Cola iPhone killer? It looks like a soda can.
  • by Scudsucker (17617) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @12:39PM (#22445936) Homepage Journal
    The ipod wasn't the mp3 player to beat for years...

    Uh, no - the iPod was the player to beat the day it was announced. It was the first player to use 5 gigabyte 1.8" hard drives while everything else used tiny amounts of flash memory or used big and heavy desktop hard drives. It also used a 400 Mpbs Firewire interface while everything else used 11 Mbps Usb 1.1 or even parallel. Combine that with a good interface and good integration and you had a product that was far ahead of the competition.

    Now everything uses USB 2.0 and the same storage media, so there is little difference in the physical size/capacity anymore, but that wasn't the case to begin with.
  • Re:Proof? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @01:11PM (#22446140)

    I think mobile consumers have proven themselves savvy enough not to buy substandard "phone blank" devices. Why is Motorola in the rut they are in now? Well, years of making substandard devices (hardware quality was fine, software was not) that had no ergonomics physically nor mentally. They thought they could ride on their brand (which at one time was THE most powerful in the market) with mediocre phones. Consumers knew better.

    For anyone to break into, or even survive in, the mobile market, they need to bring to the table something amazing, either by offering unprecedented feature sets, or simply making the gadget slick and stylish. A "blank phone" would accomplish neither of those things.

    In the end, any serious competitor in this market is going to have to spend a LOT of money building their phones, no corner may be cut.

  • Re:iPhone killer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnpaul191 (240105) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @02:28PM (#22446586) Homepage
    The iPhone is important because it made the smartphone concept mainstream. Tech nerds aside, before the iPhone it was common to see business people with Blackberries. There was some sort of stigma from that masses that they could never escape the office because they were always in touch. The iPhone somehow succeeded where Palm failed to..... make a smart phone seem really freakin useful and fun. Let's face it, Palm took the basic handheld they have been selling for 10+ years and added a phone to it. Windows Mobil phones are just Microsoft's version of that, and again often an extension of the office. The iPhone may have the best mobile browser out there, and that matters. I can't tell you how many times we will be out to dinner and randomly want to look something up online. It's always the iPhone that has the best browsing results.

    I know a lot of people that freelance, and want/need email and some sort of web access in their pocket. The Treo still seems to dominate that world, but maybe it will change? These are people picking out their own phones and paying for their own plans, not issued by work.
    *Most* iPhone owners i know are new to a smartphone. The second biggest group are people that upgraded from a Treo.

    I write this as a Treo owner, and a Mac user.... but if the iPhone was CDMA, i would probably own one. The iPhone's Safari is the app i want more than anything. Having a Verizon/BREW Treo it does not seem like i have 3rd party options for browsers that are anywhere near Safari (operamini doesn't run on my phone).
  • Re:iPhone killer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday February 17, 2008 @10:49AM (#22453206) Homepage Journal
    I have yet to actually see an iPhone in person. Outside of the rat race of the cities where if your phone isn't cool enough girls won't talk to you, no one gives a squashed shit about it.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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