The chief of mobile devices at Acer has essentially confirmed earlier reports by saying his company will likely launch its first phone running Google’s Android OS this year.
Aymar de Lencquesaing, the head of Acer’s Smart Handheld Business Group, said earlier this week:
“We have not made any formal announcement of an Android- based device, although it’s likely that we’ll have one in 2009. We intend to have devices that will take advantage of multiple platforms.”
He went on to say that his company wants to give customers the ability to synchronize data across its range of products. Because we have a suite of products in the mobile-data space that covers the whole spectrum, we can offer synchronization between all devices.
Acer has already unveiled several new smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS.
What the Rumors Say
Although de Lencquesaing is being somewhat reticent about Acer’s plans for Android-based models, unconfirmed reports give more details.
This company is supposedly prepping not just one but two devices running this operating system for release in 2009.
The first of these, the Acer A1, is reportedly scheduled for release in early fall. When the second one will debut is not yet known, but is apparently aimed at the fourth quarter of this year.
Most of the details on the A1 are currently unknown, aside from the fact that it will have a touchscreen. It can be expected to have the standard suite of software that is part of this platform, including a highly-capable web browser and applications that tie in to Google’s online services, like Gmail and Google maps.
In addition, a few inferences can be drawn from the fact de Lencquesaing said last month that his company hopes to make smartphones that wireless carriers can release at very low prices — possibly even free with contract. With that goal in mind, its Android models are unlikely to offer cutting-edge features.
Two device makers in Taiwan, Compal and Arima, are reportedly competing for the contract to manufacture these Acer products. Compal is the largest OEM in Taiwan while Arima already manufactures Acer’s Windows phones.