SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Dell Inc has chosen to launch its new 10-inch Android tablet in China this summer, passing up on a U.S., Europe launch, as China emerges as a front line battle for tablets.
The tablet named "Streak 10 Pro" will target Chinese "prosumers," a term used to describe advanced-level consumers, Amit Midha, Dell's President of Greater China and South Asia, said on a corporate blog on Thursday.
Dell, which is also working on a Windows 7-based tablet for enterprise customers due later this year, will evaluate launches of the Android tablet in other regions in the second half of the year, he said.
Dell's decision to launch a 10-inch tablet in China is a signal of the market's growing importance to the company.
Dell's China sales grew 22 percent in the first quarter while its retail presence in China exceeds 10,000 sales points, Midha said.
"In China in particular, we're currently number 2 in the Chinese PC market and we're seeing a significant increase in the number of small- and medium-business users, who are adopting mobility products as part of their growth plans," he said.
Dell has chosen China to launch new products before. In 2009, Dell announced it will enter the smartphone market starting in China before moving into Brazil.
By launching the Android tablet in China, Dell hopes to give more time to developers to develop applications for the device as China blocks some Google applications and the Android Market is not yet available.
The tablet market is currently dominated by Apple Inc's iPads, Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility Holdings tablets.
"The end product (encompassing the hardware, software, and availability of applications, services and solutions) delivered in China will be significantly different to what would be delivered in many other countries. That's why it makes sense to start there" Midha said, adding that Dell will take what it learns in China to shape mobile products for other markets.
Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Kazunori Takada