An Acer smartphone. (Photo/Chen Cho-pang)
Taiwan-based PC maker Acer will start selling smarphones using Intel's new Atom processor as early as this quarter, our sister paper Commercial Times reports.
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this month in Las Vegas, Intel introduced a smartphone platform targeting emerging markets, especially mid-range and entry-level products, and introduced products from Acer, Lava International and Safaricom, the report said.
Acer has struggled to break into the smartphone market, recently writing off losses of NT$3.5 billion (US$118 million), but has refused to quit and has diversified its partners. In addition to its use of the Android platform, Acer has continued to work on the Aliyun platform in partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. In terms of hardware, Acer has strengthened its tie-up with chip producer MediaTek and joined forces with Intel. In contract manufacturing, Acer has teamed up with SIMCom and extended its alliance with battery maker BYD.
Acer hopes to turn out 1.5 million smartphones this year and 5 million next year, from about 500,000, last year, Acer president Jim Wang said recently.
Among major PC makers who also make smartphones, Lenovo has done best so far. Lenovo shares earlier this week surged to HK$8.55 (US$1.10), a five-year high, due chiefly to Q3 results that give the Chinese PC maker a No. 2 smartphone market share in China. Lenovo may turn out 40 million mobile phones this year and produce up to 44 million handsets next year, up from some 29 million last year, the report said, citing unnamed institutional investors.
Acer recently unveiled a mid- to low-end Liquid E1 smartphone in China, produced by Compal Communications. Expanding the sales channels is Acer's top priority for now, the report said.
Although Acer's smartphone sales in China lag behind the European market, it is expected that mainland China will ultimately become Acer's biggest smartphone market, targeting the market segment of phones priced between 1,000 yuan and 2,000 yuan (US$160-$320), the report said.