Dell’s Android plans published by mistake

BELLVUE, WASHINGTON – We love it when this sort of thing happens. Yesterday, mobile software developer Bsquare issued a press release saying that it planned to launch a new netbook powered by Google’s lightweight Android operating system. It pretty much confirmed that Dell has been working with Android for months.

The release described plans to use Adobe’s Flash Lite 3.17 video software on “Dell netbooks running Android”, part of the Mini Inspiron range – a bit of a giveaway.

The release quoted CEO Brian Crowley as saying: “Integrating Adobe Flash technology with the functionality of Google’s Android platform on the full range of Netbook devices will allow our OEM customers to meet the high expectations their customers have of this new industry segment… as the Netbook and Nettop market segments expand, our Adobe Flash Lite port to Android is just one of the software products we will offer our OEM and ODM customers.”

But, it seems, this was not what was supposed to happen. The press release has disappeared from Bsquare’s newsroom website without trace, and Dell is telling journalists that the whole thing was just a mistake.

Tellingly, though, the company is not actually denying any plans to use Android. A statement from the company reads merely: “Dell constantly assesses new technologies as part of managing our product development process and for consideration in future products. The Bsquare announcement was released in error, and taken down. Dell has made no announcements on plans to issue an Android-based netbook.”

It would not be particularly suprising. Dell has been rumoured to be considering the operating system for a planned new smartphone, so a Netbook wouldn’t be too great a step. Plenty of other manufacturers are also said to be looking at Android, including HP, Asus and Acer.