Dell, the number 2 PC maker, which is struggling to stave off continued erosion in PC market share, may be planning a new line of smartphones featuring Android and Windows Mobile platforms according to a news report.

Smartphones are increasingly behaving like miniature computers, and at least one computer maker has already proven it can be successful jumping into the market. According to a recent Gartner study, smartphones are selling well despite the recession the research firm reported sales were up 15. 7 per cent than the second quarter of 2007 that means that the worldwide sales hit 32.3 million units in the second quarter of 2008.

A Journal report says that Dell is expected to launch their smatphone version this month of February. WSJ also reported that Dell is developing high-end handsets featuring the touch screen and no keyboard approach, just like the Apple iPhone.

Recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a key patent for its iPhone, which it applied for in September 2007. Patent 7,479,949 covers the product's distinctive multifunction touch screen.The patent covers multi-touch functionality like pinch, rotation, and swipe. With this, would Apple iPhones patent allow Dell Smartphones to be launch?

Lately, armed with the 358 page iPhone patent awarded last week, Timothy Cook who runs Apple in Jobs' absence had threatened Palm with legal action. With these conflicts the announcement of Palm's new smartphone has clearly sent shivers down Apple's spine.

Now we'll see if Dell can make a difference.