Dell has endured a difficult relationship with the Android platform over the years. The original Streak (also known as the Mini Streak or Streak 5) is arguably the first Android phablet device, combining high end internal hardware with a massive (at the time) 5.0-inch display. The Streak family were discontinued but more recently, Dell started selling the Venue line of Android-powered tablet devices. Unfortunately, today Dell have announced that they are to discontinue the Android line of tablets including the Venue 8 7000 series, which includes the very thin, 8.4-inch model with a gorgeous AMOLED panel.
The reason for the change in Dell's Android tablet business is outlined in a blog post and the key reason is that Dell is going to focus on the Windows 2-in-1 device family. A company spokesman explained that Dell believes 2-in-1 devices are better for customers as they attract users wanting PC functions with a tablet's portability. The company also released a blog post explaining that 2-in-1s with a screen in the 10-inch to 13-inch range offer a laptop experience with tablet portability. Kirk Schell, Dell's Vice President of commercial client solutions, highlighted that this is where the company's customers are asking the business to invest and innovate. The company is also stopping the sale of its Wyse Cloud Connect device, which is a thumb-sized computer based on Android able to turn a display into a computer. Arguably, the writing has been on the wall for Dell's Android tablets following the successful introduction of Windows 10 combined with how Android continues to struggle on without a more professional user interface for corporate users. Android still does not lend itself well to keyboard devices and whilst this is expected to change as the platform evolves, Windows (and Chrome OS) has been designed around a physical keyboard.
Although Dell will honor remaining warranty and service agreements on Android products, it has also highlighted that it will not be bringing operating system updates to existing products. This is especially frustrating, as newer builds and versions of Android not only quash critical security vulnerabilities but could also improve how productive the platform is. Yes, not supporting the Android platform presumably frees up Dell's software engineers to work on the Windows platform, but it abandons many Dell customers and is certainly not a great experience.