Despite the fact that it uses sub-par hardware and is made mostly of plastic, there's a lot of excitement around the Dell Mini 3i Android smartphone. Rumors abound of a possible, near-future revamp of the smartphone, followed by a U.S. release. Now we have the best confirmation possible of that rumor. Michael Dell, the company's founder and CEO, has stated flat-out in an interview that the 3i will be making its way to our shores.
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Dell confirmed the rumor in an interview with TechPulse (via Android and Me). The 3i that is set to launch here will probably be very different in specs than the Chinese model. Expected changes include a boost to the camera from 3 MP to 5. TechPulse believes that we're due for an early 2010 launch, although exact dates are not available.
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I'm a big fan of the 3i's design, but as it currently stands the phone's hardware isn't nearly what it needs to be to really draw some interest. With any luck Dell will stick a solid processor (please not another 528 MHz clunker) and actually expend some effort to make this mobile exciting. If they want their venture into the smartphone market to be anything but a blip on the radar, the 3i is going to have to be special in some way.