Dell eyeing wearable computing market

As the personal computer market continues to slow down, Dell Inc. (NADAQ: Dell) is preparing to stake out a claim in the growing wearable technology space.

“On wearables, we haven’t announced anything but we’re looking at the technology in that space, “said Sam Burd, global vice-president of personal computing for Dell.

In a recent interview with the online United Kingdom-based publication The Guardian, Burd said Dell still sees a need for “static” computing on desktops although device form factors will continue to change within the next five years and there will be greater demand for mobile devices.

He said the company is watching closely how the demand for mobile devices will figure in the emergence of wearable computing gadgets such as Google Glass and the iWatch.

In recent months, the technology industry has seen a growing interest in wearable computing devices. Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google Glass and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: APPL) iWatch have raised quite a buzz among consumers even though both devices have not yet been released publicly.

The trend has spurred even smaller companies to catch a ride on the bandwagon. In the case of Vancouver’s Recon Instruments even beat Google in taking its Recon Jet smart glasses to market.

Dell has a large enterprise and services business but much of it revolves around PCs. The global market for computers has shrunk in recent months largely due to shaky economic conditions in many countries and the growing popularity of other computing form factors such as smart phones and tablets.

Under these conditions Dell’s revenues dipped by as much as nine per cent to $8.9 billion in the three months ending in May this year compared with the same period in 2012.

PC sales slump, Windows 8 blamed

The company currently ranks number three in the global PC market Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) and number one PC maker Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ).

Burd said that for far, Dell has only sold “hundreds of thousands” of its XPS-1o and Latitude 10 tablet devices. The devices run Microsoft’s Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems respectively. He said Windows 8 has not done so well with enterprise companies which make up a large portion of Dell’s customers.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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