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A Dell official says the company will launch a new consumer tablet in the second half of 2012. It’s not yet clear Dell’s next tablet will be a Windows or Android device… or if the company will launch one or more of each.

The news comes from a Reuters interview with Dell chief commercial officer Steve Felice.

I’d take everything else in the article with a grain of salt though, since Reuters suggests that up until now Dell had only offered tablets aimed at enterprise customers. That’s simply not true.

Dell does offer a 10 inch Windows tablet for enterprise called the Latitude ST. But the company’s 5 inch and 7 inch Dell Streak Android tablets were positioned as consumer-oriented devices. They just didn’t sell very well.

It’s not clear if the company is trying to re-write history by claiming they were never supposed to sell well or if the Reuters article simply didn’t delve deep enough. But what’s clear is that whatever Dell launches later this year it won’t be the company’s “first consumer tablet.”

When Dell introduced the Streak 7 tablet during CES 2011 it was one of the first tablets with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor. No mention was made of enterprise in the promotional video which showcased music, video, photos, and video calling capabilities.

Dell has discontinued its 5 and 7 inch Streak tablets and currently doesn’t offer an Android tablet in the US, although the company continues to sell a 10 inch Streak 10pro in China.

If I had to try to make sense of the Reuters article, I’d guess that Dell will be launching its first Windows tablet for consumers after Windows 8 is available in the second half of the year.

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