Dell plans to announce an MP3 player based on a hard drive, and unveil two new Axim personal digital assistants (PDAs) next Thursday.
Dell chairman and chief executive officer, Michael Dell, will preside over a webcast announcement in which the new products will be revealed, as well as a new online storefront, according to an e-mail invitation to journalists.
The new MP3 player will be called the Digital Jukebox, and come with a 15GB hard drive, a source familiar with the company's plans said Apple has received a great deal of critical and commercial praise for its iPod MP3 players, and Dell will follow its usual strategy of letting another company demonstrate a market for a particular product before entering that market itself.
The new Axims would come in more configurations, and the higher-end one wpuld come with integrated Wi-Fi, the source said. Dell had also slimmed down this new generation of Axims.
Dell will almost certainly include the new Windows Mobile 2003 operating system on the new PDAs, a transition that didn't go very well for the company earlier this year.
A line of Axims sold after the June launch of Microsoft's operating system featured buggy firmware developed by Dell, and a plan to release an update patch on its Web site backfired when enterprising Pocket PC 2002 users were able to find Dell's patch before it was distributed and give themselves free upgrades.
A Dell representative declined to comment on unannounced products.
Company executives have been hinting about increasing the company's presence in consumer electronics in recent moths
An analyst said earlier this year that Dell planed to introduce a line of liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions this year, and was working with TV vendors in Asia.