Acer guns for UK smartphone share

Acer guns for UK smartphone share
Acer is in talks with UK operators and major mobile retailers to stock its smartphone portfolio.

The move is linked to the manufacturer's plans to launch up to 10 Android smartphones in the UK in 2010.

The IT manufacturer is looking to secure share in the mobile devices market, pledging to become one of the top five handset manufacturers within five years.

Julien Bertheuil, Acer's business development manager, told Mobile: 'We are planning to roll out our products on a wider path. We want to multiply our routes to market both with retailers and network operators as part of Acer's move to be recognised as a smartphone brand in the UK consumer's mind.'

Bertheuil said Acer is talking to all the UK operators and large mobile phone retailers. He added: 'We are in constructive conversations at both levels and that should bring some good visibility to our portfolio later in the year.'

Expanding its routes to market will allow Acer to showcase its growing portfolio. The launch of Acer's new Android smartphones in 2010 will be timed to coincide with peak demand, Bertheuil said. 'Our roadmap will fit with the commercial peaks in the UK market so we have production ready - Christmas, Easter and the "back to school" period.'

For now, Acer has no plans to extend its b2b routes. Currently it has three distributors - Micro-P, Data Select and 20:20 Mobile.

However, it is planning to develop some devices more oriented to the b2b market, which will be sold through its distributors. Acer is talking to operators about offering own-brand devices for its b2b deals as well.

Will Acer drop Windows Mobile?
Bertheuil said the drive to develop Android smartphones does not mean Acer is planning to abandon the Windows Mobile OS.

He said: 'We are rebalancing our portfolio, which was very Windows Mobile driven last year. We want to develop the equivalent number of Android devices, so it is more about raising the number of Android devices than about reducing our involvement with Windows Mobile.'

He pointed to the planned launch of yet another Windows Mobile smartphone in the UK this quarter as evidence of its commitment.

However, Acer's main focus for now is on its Android portfolio. It launched Liquid, its first Android smartphone, in December in the UK. It is planning to launch its second Android smartphone towards the end of quarter one.

Bertheuil declined to give further details but said: 'The device will be more mass market oriented than Liquid.'
Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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