1/20/2010 9:11:00 AM
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.'