Sat, Feb 22, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Acer debuts Liquid E3, Z4 phones before show

Staff writer, with CNA

Acer Inc (宏碁) did not wait for next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona to launch two new Liquid-series smartphones, unveiling its entry-level Z4 and mid-range E3 through a press release on Thursday.

The Liquid Z4 comes with a 4-inch display, a dual-core 1.3GHz processor, a 5-megapixel main camera and Android 4.2.2, specs that the company hopes appeal to entry-level consumers who enjoy taking photos, browsing the Internet and using social media.

Meanwhile, the mid-tier Liquid E3 has a 4.7-inch high-definition IPS screen, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 4GB internal storage and a 13-megapixel rear camera. It is also scheduled for an upgrade to Android KitKat 4.4 later this year.

The E3 is set to enter Europe in April at a suggested price of 199 euros (US$272), while the Z4 will be released around the same time for 99 euros, the company said.

Acer, known for its computers, is pushing hard to take more of the mobile market as PC sales slump. CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) said late last month that the company was maintaining its smartphone shipment target of 5 million units for this year, more than triple the estimated 1 million to 1.5 million shipped last year.

The company posted a net loss of NT$7.63 billion (US$252.6 million) in the fourth quarter, including an unexpected NT$1.3 billion raw material inventory write-off.

Acer’s products look promising, as rising interest in mobile devices — especially low-cost, large-screen models — are forecast to keep rising, Ryan Reith of research firm IDC said.

Reith, program director of IDC’s quarterly mobile phone tracker, wrote in a Jan. 27 report that cheap devices in particular are driving smartphone growth, with models priced under US$150 accounting for a majority of shipments in markets like China and India.

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