Dell Venue Pro Delayed Until January 2011

Image of Dell's WP7 powered Venue Pro smart phone

It's delayed...again.

Dell unveiled its Venue Pro smart phone to the world earlier this year and excitement was strong. The Venue Pro runs Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system and is viewed by many as Dell’s strongest attempt to get a foothold in the exploding smart phone market. The company even has plans to release an Android OS powered version of the Venue Pro later next year. The only problem is, the device has been hit by repeated delays and pre-orders will now not ship until after Christmas.

Yes, you read that right. If you’re giddily awaiting your new Dell Venue Pro in the mail, you better call up Dell ASAP. The company tweeted this in response to an inquiry on when the Venue Pro will ship: “Not sure if you heard that orders are delayed. Someone from Dell should be calling you regarding this to give you some options.” Joy.

Perhaps the worst part is Dell has not yet contacted many of those who have pre-ordered their Venue Pros. Right now, the XDA Developers Forum is blowing up with angry posts from customers affected by the delay. My favorite post on the forum is this one:

“I just chatted with some dude that told me I needed to call an invalid extension to find out if my phone would actually ship on the original estimate. Better and better. I wouldn’t be so sure about that delivery tomorrow if I was you. Not until it was in your hands, of course. The guy actually told me that I made a pre-order and there was no guarantee that they could make any estimates.” – mrancier

So what is causing the delay? Smart phones are difficult to manufacturer of course. But you would assume that a company with as much technology experience as Dell would have that taken care of. Could the problems be linked to the inability of some Venue Pros that were sold in Europe to connect to protected Wi-Fi networks? How about the batteries showing up in units that are marked as test units and not production ones? What the heck is going on over at Dell?

Congratulations Dell, you just managed to take one of the best WP7 smartphones, kill its holiday sales and further damage your reputation as a phone manufacturer. Apple might be able to get away with a faulty antenna design and a nearly yearlong delay to release the white model of its iPhone 4 but don’t expect your customers to be nearly as kind.

Let me know if you’re waiting for your Dell Venue Pro. Is this acceptable for the release of a new model with a new operating system?

Tags: , , ,