Acer to sell Android netbooks, phones this year

After the launch of a model running on Android later this year, the majority of Acer's netbooks will offer the open-source OS as an alternative to Windows

Acer has announced a version of its Aspire One netbook that will run the Android operating system.

The manufacturer made the announcement on Tuesday at the Computex show in Taiwan, promising a release for the Android-based netbook in the third quarter of this year. Android was originally intended as a platform for smartphones, but recent months have seen great interest in porting the system over to small, cheap subnotebooks.

"Netbooks are designed to be compact in size and easy to connect to the internet wherever you go," said Jim Wong, Acer's president of IT products, in a statement. "The Android operating system offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the internet; for this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android netbooks for added convenience to our customers."

The Taiwanese manufacturer said the majority of Acer netbooks will come with Android as an alternative operating system to Microsoft's Windows.

"Acer believes the Android operating system will contribute significantly to the worldwide netbook market growth," the company said in the statement.

On Monday, Acer also announced it is formally joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), the Google-led consortium overseeing the development of the Android platform. The company now plans to release an Android-based smartphone in the fourth quarter of this year.

Acer only entered the smartphone market in February this year, when it showed off several Windows Mobile-based devices.

Rival handset manufacturers that have brought out, or are scheduled to bring out, Android smartphones, and are also members of the OHA, include HTC, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.


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