Acer readies smart phones for China

Acer is making preparations to launch a line of smart phones based on Microsoft's Stinger platform in the greater China region, said Jim Wong, vice president of new business development at the company's Acer Brand Operation division. The phones, which are designed for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks, are expected to ship during September or October, he said.

Two mock-ups of the Stinger smart phones on display at Acer's booth at the Computex exhibition here showed the phones will offer a contacts application, a calendar application, an e-mail client and a Web browser. Pricing for the phones will likely be made available one week before the launch, Wong said.

Wong did not disclose the number of smart phones that Acer expects to ship next year, but he said the company believes that 40 percent of all GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phones sold during 2002 will be GPRS phones.

While Acer will sell the smart phones in greater China under its own brand, the company has no plans to do so outside of the region, said Wong, adding that the company is willing to manufacture them under contract to be sold elsewhere in the world under other brand names.

Acer will manufacture the Stinger smart phones in mainland China at its manufacturing facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Wong said.

Computex runs through Friday, June 8.

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