MWC: Acer enters smartphone fold


Computer manufacturer Acer has launched its first range of smartphone handsets after its acquisition of manufacturer E-Ten late last year.

It has expanded its UK computer business to include a mobile division and has employed five staff for its marketing team.

Acer’s new line of Windows Mobile powered smartphones are aimed at the consumer needing technology to meet both business and social needs.

The HSDPA M900 is a QWERTY slider that runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and has a 3.8-inch Wide VGA touchscreen. The M900 also has a fingerprint sensor, GPS, FM-radio, voice recording/command, memory expansion and a five megapixel camera with LED flash.

The F900 has a 3.8-inch Wide-VGA display and touch keyboard, 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash, GPS, FM radio, voice recording/command and microSDHC memory expansion.

Access to key applications can be done from the customisable widget-based home screen. The 3G/HSPA device has Wi-Fi and Internet Explorer 6.

The X960 is 3G with a 2.8-inch VGA resolution display, five way navigation key and a widget-based user interface running off Windows Mobile.

The handset has GPS, a 3.2-megapixel camera as well as expandable memory.

The DX900 (pictured) is the first dual-SIM smartphone to support GSM and 3G with HSDPA. It has a 2.8-inch VGA display, with touchscreen, Windows Mobile operating system, with 3D animated icons. It too has a 3.2 megapixel camera and expandable memory.

Acer president and chief executive Gianfranco Lanci said: “We know the laptop market well and many smartphones on the market have the same capabilities of netbooks or notebooks. People want a pocket PC that also makes calls and we are heading in that direction.”

Acer senior corporate vice president and president of smart handheld business group Aymar de Lenquesaing said: “In the laptop market it´s not about who comes first to market, but who has staying power. Our strategy in mobile will be the same.

“Our focus is very one-sided, to leverage the power of the Acer brand through smartphone development.

“Staying power in the smartphone market will boil down to price. Our knowledge of the PC and laptop market will help us to work out the correct pricing models as well as develop efficient devices.

de Lenquesaing said the company is looking to partner with networks and distributors. It said it will launch a range of handsets in the second half of the year which will be Windows Mobile 6.5 ready.

Acer is the third largest PC manufacturer and has11.1 per cent of the global PC market. It has the second largest market share in EMEA with 16.9 per cent of the market. It said said it was able transfer the popularity of its netbook brand to its mobile offerings.

It has 6,000 employees working in 70 countries and is distributed in 90,000 retail stores across the world. It sold eight million desktop computers and 20 million notebooks last year globally.