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Acer to go into smartphone market

ACER Inc expects to launch its mobile smartphones for the first time on Chinese mainland in an expansion strategy by the world's No. 3 personal computer vendor, Chairman J.T. Wang said yesterday in Beijing.

Acer will promote them in cooperation with mobile carriers.

The Taiwan-based firm also expects its major personal computer business to continue growing 25 percent to 30 percent in the second quarter despite the global financial crisis, thanks to its newly launched ultra-mobility laptop series and the booming netbook business.

Acer's mobile smartphones will feature a screen bigger than 3 inches and it has talked with two Chinese mainland mobile carriers about the launch. The firm is focusing on the TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access), China's homegrown 3G technology, said Campbell Kan, Acer's vice president of mobile computing business, who declined to reveal more details like price and names of partners.

Globally speaking, Acer will debut the smartphones in the third quarter or fourth quarter, according to Wang.

To expand on the mainland, Acer will boost its stores by 50 percent from 800 stores by the end of this year. It also plans to establish a software development center in Shanghai.

Acer, which is second to Hewlett-Packard Inc in the notebook market, is set to post a growth rate of 35-40 percent in laptop sales in the second quarter but its desktop sales will fall by 5 percent to 10 percent, Wang added.

Acer also said yesterday it will launch the Aspire Timeline products with 20 to 30 models which will cost from US$699 to US$899 each. Within one year, the ultra-mobile PC sales will reach 100 million units, Wang said.



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