updated 02:05 pm EST, Fri December 5, 2008
Acer Smartphone in 2009
Acer is on track to release its first smartphones in the early part of next year, the company says. Following up on its buyout of cellphone company E-TEN in the spring, the PC builder now says it hopes to have the first phones under its own name to ship before the end of March and hopes to launch them first within Western Europe and Russia, with other areas following later.
Details of the number of models or the phones themselves are unavailable, though E-TEN had previously been making Windows Mobile smartphones and had focused heavily on extras like GPS and live TV.
Acer chairman JT Wang has also revealed that his company plans to aggressively expand into phones and will make them a "major growth driver" within the next three to five years. In addition to taking control of the smartphones themselves, Acer plans to rely on as many as 500 staffers just for its phone effort and is effectively stripping E-TEN of its phone business by transferring 200 of its employees.