Acer launches smartphones in Asia; wants to be Top 5 by 2012

Taiwan-based Acer launched a series of smartphones for the Asia-Pacific region yesterday, bridging the gap between its popular netbook business and the handheld business.Company executives said Acer was banking on its experience as a leading computer brand to gain a share of the ever-crowded smartphone market.

Taiwan-based Acer launched a series of smartphones for the Asia-Pacific region yesterday, bridging the gap between its popular netbook business and the handheld business.

Company executives said Acer was banking on its experience as a leading computer brand to gain a share of the ever-crowded smartphone market. The unveiling will be followed by similar launches in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Australia and China, Acer said.

Acer first announced a move into the mobile phone market at Mobile World Congress in February.

About 200 million smartphones are sold each year. Acer believes the market will grow at 15 percent annually in the next five years, it said.

"Our ambition is to be among the top five smartphone vendors in the world in the next three years," said Roger Yuen, Asia Pacific vice president for Acer's smart hand-held device business group, in a story by Agence France-Presse.

As it stands, Nokia leads the global market for smartphones, followed by Research in Motion and Apple, according to Gartner research. But computer companies Toshiba and Dell have already been rumored to be planning handsets.

Models Acer unveiled include the Windows Mobile 6.1-powered DX900 (pictured), which has a dual SIM card function and comes with a 3.0 megapixel camera, and the DX650, designed to be used on both sides, featuring a touch screen panel on one side and a keypad on the reverse. Acer unveiled five total models priced at what amounts to about $397 to $530 U.S. for the first half of this year.

In the second half, Acer will roll out three more models geared for the mass market, meaning they will be cheaper but still contain multimedia functions, the company said.

Specs on the DX900:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Processor: Samsung S3C 6400 (533 MHz)
  • Memory: 128 MB SDRAM,  256 MB flash memory
  • 2.8" VGA TFT LCD touch screen, 640x 480 pixel resolution, 65536 colors
  • microSD Card
  • Dimensions: 106 (L) x 60.5 (W) x 17 (H) mm
  • Weight: 147 g
  • Rechargeable lithium polymer battery, Capacity: 1530 mAh. Talk time: up to 6 hours; Standby: up to 160h hours
  • 3.0 megapixel resolution, auto-focus CMOS camera
  • SIM 1: HSDPA / UMTS (2100/1900/850 MHz); Quad-Band GSM?850/900/1800/1900 MHz; EDGE class 10/GPRS class 10
  • SIM 2: GSM Tri-Band(900/1800/1900); WLAN: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® network connection; WPAN: Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • GPS: SiRFstar III
  • Accelerometer, Light sensor
  • Spb Mobile Shell v2.1
  • Office Mobile, Outlook Mobile, Dual SIM manager, Internet Explorer 6
  • 2.5mm headset, Mini USB sync cable, Mini USB AC adaptor, Battery pack, Leather case or Soft pouch