Aug 11

The tough and brief life of Streak 5

Dell’s Streak 5 phone/tablet may now officially be classified as phone/tablet/dud.

Visitors to the Streak 5 page at Dell.com are now greeted by the above, with Dell giving it the happy spin: “Goodbye, Streak 5. It’s been a great ride.”

Interesting what qualifies as a “great ride” in Dell’s world: a product ill-conceived from the start, then sabotaged by some of the clumsiest ads in the business.

Trying to figure out how to cash in on iPad-mania, Dell decided it could wedge itself into success. “Hey, if tablets are so popular at 10 inches and phones are so popular at 3-4 inches, we could virtually own the 5-inch category.” And own it they did — for the nearly undetectable group of customers who actually wanted such a thing.

Rather than being the perfect size Dell proclaimed it to be, Streak 5 was too big to be a phone and too small to be a tablet. That much was obvious to anyone with eyeballs.

Not content to hobble Streak 5 with an awkward size, Dell went the extra yard by hobbling it in other inventive ways. Streak 5 was launched with Android 1.6, while the rest of the Android world was already onto version 2.2. And its unlocked version was actually priced higher than an iPad. Perfect.

Oh well, least they could make some good ads for it, right? Uh-uh. Not that this blog is the perfect measure of such things, but Streak 5 actually earned two posts here for advertising embarrassments in its short, tortured life. (See those here and here, if you are so disposed.)

If Streak 5 were a real child, Dell would be facing charges of neglect.

But don’t worry. You can still get a 7-inch Streak. And though they’ve certainly taken the scenic route to get there, rumor has it that Dell is finally working on the 10-inch size that’s been such a terrible burden for iPad.

So farewell Streak 5. At least you got to enjoy one great ride. Dell strapped you into the back seat and drove directly off the cliff.

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  • qka

    The picture sort of reminds me of Thelma and Louise; appropriate I guess for a device sent over a cliff.

  • Tom

    I regret that I was tempted to click the link showing the TV ad.

    What an instant classic of horrible ”creative” advertising, a.k.a. ”how to properly spend millions yet leaving the customer scratching their heads over what the hell it is that you’re actually offering.”

    Great article. It’s left me wondering who does their market research. Might be a good idea to spend some $$ on that, instead of launching a product based on misguided assumptions.