Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Acer’s cancelation of media event sparks speculation

RIVAL OS:Alibaba accused Google of pressuring Acer to cancel a press conference by threatening to withdraw its Android license if it uses the Chinese firm’s system

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it would continue to work with Chinese partners to expand its presence in the market, a day after the PC vendor abruptly canceled a press conference in which it was expected to launch a new smartphone running on an operating system developed by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group (阿里巴巴).

The incident cast doubts on Acer’s plan to rebuild its presence in the Chinese smartphone market. China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s biggest smartphone market, accounting for 26.5 percent of global shipments this year, bolstered by demand for smartphones priced under US$100, market researcher International Data Corp said last month.

Acer did not elaborate on why it canceled the event, but Alibaba said Google Inc was behind the move.

The Chinese company said Acer was under pressure from Google to halt the press conference, the Chinese-language Economics Daily News reported yesterday, citing a statement from Alibaba.

Alibaba said Google had threatened to withdraw Acer’s Android license if the Taiwanese firm used Alibaba’s rival operating system on its phones, the report said.

Acer was scheduled to launch a new high-end smartphone, code-named the A800, but canceled the event about half an hour before it was scheduled to start because of “internal factors,” Acer’s China public relations company said.

The A800 was expected to be Acer’s first smartphone running Alibaba’s latest operating system, Aliyun OS 2.0, a system that is primarily built to run Web-based applications that are stored on remote servers, the report said.

The launch would have made Acer the third company to adopt the Aliyun operating system after Chinese firms Beijing Tianyu Telecommunications Equipment Co (天宇朗通) and Haier Group (海爾).

Acer was planning to unveil two smartphones powered by Aliyun, the report said.

Acer yesterday declined to comment on the report. In a statement sent to reporters yesterday, the firm apologized for the “abrupt cancelation of yesterday’s press conference with Alibaba in China.”

Acer said it would continue to work “with strategic partners in China to create better product and service offerings, and looks forward to sharing the results of our win-win developments in the near future.”

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