Pictures of two Dell smartphones, including one with China's 3G mobile standard and a new body shape for Dell's phone series, have been posted on the Web site of a Chinese regulator.
The listings for the Dell Mini 3T1 and Mini 3iX show the phones have received network access licenses for China, which are required for phones to be sold in the country and suggest they will debut there soon. The regulator, the Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center under China's IT ministry, issued the licenses to both phones within the last month.
The Mini 3T1 supports the Chinese homegrown 3G standard being promoted by carrier China Mobile, TD-SCDMA, according to the government regulator. That means China Mobile is likely to offer the phone, and that the phone could have a version of the Android operating system that China Mobile has modified, just like Dell's last phone for the carrier. China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier by number of accounts, uses the Ophone brand for devices with its tweaked version of Android.
The Mini 3T1 has a rectangular body that sets it apart from the Mini 3i, the smartphone that was Dell's first and that China Mobile started selling late last year, or the Aero phone that Dell has announced for AT&T in the U.S. The Mini 3T1 also has a shorter screen than the other phones, using the extra space for three buttons below the screen and a circular section that looks potentially like another button pad. The phone appears to have a 2.0 megapixel camera in the Chinese regulator's image of its back.
The second phone on the regulator's Web site, the Mini 3iX, supports the 3G standard being used by carrier China Unicom, WCDMA. The phone has the rounded corners and large screen of the Mini 3i and the Aero, but it is different in having a Dell logo at the top of its screen. The regulator did not say if the phone would use Android or another OS.
Both the Mini 3T1 and the 3iX also support a Chinese security protocol, WAPI, that regulators have required on all phones that can connect to wireless LANs.
No details on pricing or launch dates were available. Dell, China Unicom and China Mobile separately declined to comment.