Dell is to launch a smartphone in the US on AT&T early next year according to the WSJ.

Citing "People briefed on the plans" the newspaper is claiming that the new handset will be powered by Google's Android handset, come with a touchscreen display and sport a "tiny camera".

"The phone, like Apple Inc.'s iPhone, has a touch screen instead of a keypad as well as a tiny camera, these people said. Dell's AT&T phone is similar to a device Dell showed in China in August, but has some different features, they said".

If true it would be Dell's first foray into the smartphone market in the US, however not its first foray into a portable PDA device.

Up until 2005, Dell offered a range of touchscreen organisers under the "x" moniker although later shut down the product line over lack of sales. 

The news follows rumours in August of a Pre-like Dell smartphone running Android which turned up on a Chinese PDA site.