Weeks prior to the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009 here in Barcelona, there were plenty of rumors as to what Acer would reveal at its scheduled Monday press conference. We knew they'd be smartphones but there were varying opinions as to how many and what type. Well, all the speculation can stop now as the company finally took the wraps off the devices on Monday night.
Speaking at Antoni Gaudi's Casa Batllo, several Acer executives, including CEO and President Gianfranco Lanci, announced that the company would bring more than 10 smartphones to market in 2009 and showed off 8 devices at the event.
Acer, which is more known for its Netbooks and notebooks, said it felt the move to smartphones was a logical one. "The smartphone market is the natural direction of our long-term mobile strategy as our ambition is to offer compelling solutions to all the needs of mobile users," Lanci said.
Collectively known as the Acer Tempo smartphone series, the handsets all run Windows Mobile--the company did say there are plans for other operating systems but did not specify which ones. The Tempo series offers a broad range of devices, from the high end to the low end, and aims to reach a diverse customer base. To give you a sampling of the line, here is a breakdown of the first four devices that will come to market in March and April.
Acer M900: The M900 is designed for business users and comes with a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard for your messaging needs. It will run Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and has a 3.8-inch WVGA touch screen and an embedded fingerprint scanner for security. The smartphone also includes GPS, HSDPA support, and a 5-megapixel camera.
Acer X960: The X960 is a little more consumer-centric, combining the typical Windows Mobile smartphone features into a more cell phone-like form factor. The touch-screen phone also has a widget-based Today screen so users can have quick access to all their important information. Acer also touts the X960 as a convenient little navigation device with its built-in GPS capabilities.
Acer DX900: The DX900 is the world's first dual SIM smartphone so you can have two numbers associated with the device. Acer offered it as a solution for those who wanted to keep separate different numbers for their work and personal lives--or for globetrotters.
Other models Acer plans to release in the second half of 2009 include the Acer L1 and the Acer C1, which are entry-level devices for those making the jump from a regular cell phone to their first smartphone. These two will also be affordably priced, with the company expecting them to go for 49 euros (around $62) or less after carrier subsidies.
Acer said it is talking with service providers and will make carrier announcements in the coming months. However, the company spoke very generally about market releases and did not specifically mention the United States. Acer did say that it plans on announcing more smartphones in Q4, so this isn't the last we've heard from them.