Dell needs his tablets

While tinman Michael Dell has no particular interest in netbooks, he has been getting quite enthusiastic about tablets, particularly about selling them to developing countries

Steve Felice, the company’s president of consumer, small and medium business told hacks that Dell will likely launch its 5-inch Streak tablet in Asian countries including China and India late this year or early next year.

This is a bit later than the US this month. However, Dell hopes that its tablet will sell well in China.

Felice thinks that tablets will kill the netbook just like video killed the radio star.

He said there are lots of netbooks being sold, but they’re going to continue to decline in terms of total mix versus what they did the last couple of years.

Of course he has to say that. Michael Dell has been banging on for ages about how mainstream notebooks are better than netbooks. With that philosophy Dell lost a lot of cash to rivals such as Taiwan PC makers Asustek Computer and Acer.

However the feeling is that he did not lose much sleep over it. After all, the margins on netbooks were never that great.

But then again unless you are Apple, the margins on tablets are not much greater either. Although Dell’s Streak does have a much smaller screen than Jobs’s Mob’s iPad.

Felice also said he expects Dell’s Aero smartphone to be available in most of Asia and will “very likely” be available in India, by the end of the year.

Felice’s comments seem to indicate a bigger push into China and India for technology which is not exactly proven yet. Although Apple’s iPad has sold well amongst people with more money than sense, the prospect of trying to sell a gimmick gizmo in poorer countries is fairly brave.  The story, from the WSJ, is here.