Gianfranco Lanci, president of Acer, announced during the company’s investors’ conference in Taipei about the plans to release their first smartphone by the end of 2008 – or early next year.
The device will be based on Windows Mobile platform and it seems like the first of the many, as Acer expects their smartphones will make up as much as 10% of company’s revenue in the next few years. Having in mind the continued growth of smartphone market, this is probably a smart move on behalf of Acer.
What allowed Acer to quickly enter the smartphone market like this was their recent March purchase of E-Ten Information Systems, a producer of handheld devices under the brand of Glofiish. Like Acer, this company is also based in Taiwan.
Acer plans to introduce a number of changes to E-Ten in it’s attempt to become a major player in the smartphone market. They have already stopped selling PDAs and Pocket PCs as the company wants to focus on smartphones only. They used to sell their devices to retail market, but Acer plans to sell them through mobile operators instead. While it takes over half a year to strike a deal like that, according to J.T. Wang – the chairman of Acer – the company will use their existing connections to speed up the process.
Acer is the world’s third largest manufacturer of desktop PCs, laptops and PDAs after Dell and HP. The company strengthened it’s position with it’s last year purchase of US computer maker Gateway and more recent purchase of 75% percent stake in Dutch computer manufacturer Packard Bell this February.
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