Acer to launch smartphone in Q1 2009

Talking about Windows Mobile competition for HTC, Acer has announced they plan to launch an own-branded smartphone in Q1 2009. Quietly dubbed the A-phone, it is not yet known if the phone will be running Windows Mobile or possibly the Android OS. Given that Acer has just completed its purchase of E-ten a Windows Mobile phone is most likely however.

Initial shipments will target markets in Western Europe and Russia, according to Jim Wong, senior corporate vice president and president of IT product business group at Acer. Acer, which is currently the number 2 laptop manufacturer worldwide, hopes to leverage its global channels and laptop market share to help push its smartphone solution, and expects the handset business to be a growth driver within three years.

To aid in this quest Acer will increase the number of employees in its handset business to 500 by the end of 2008, Wong said.