Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Acer to launch mobile phone running Android OS

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Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s third-largest personal-computer vendor, will introduce a mobile phone in September that runs on Google Inc’s Android operating system, an official at the Taiwanese company said.

The A1, equipped with a touch screen, is among four handset models that Acer plans to debut that month, the person said, asking not to be identified because he was not authorized to comment on the matter.

Henry Wang (汪島雄), a spokesman at Taipei-based Acer, declined to comment.

Marsha Wang, a spokeswoman at Google in Beijing, also declined to comment.

Acer would join HTC Corp (宏達電), Samsung Electronics Co, LG Electronics Inc and Motorola Inc in adopting Google’s mobile operating system to meet rising demand for so-called smartphones that allow users to view videos and business documents. The Android software will run 5 percent of the world’s smartphones by next year, CLSA Ltd estimates showed.

Acer last month unveiled four handsets using Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system, the first models released since its acquisition of phone maker E-Ten Information Systems Co (倚天資訊) last year.

The Taiwanese company projected in April last year that handsets will account for 10 percent of sales by 2011.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, started Android in 2007 as part of an industry effort to create a free software system for phones.

Based on the Linux operating system, Android is open to any programmer who wants to develop features for it. HTC last year became the first phone vendor to offer an Android-equipped handset.

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