Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Acer looks to boost smartphone shipments

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Acer chairman Stan Shih, left, takes a “selfie” with two models using Acer’s latest smartphone — the Liquid E3 — at a product launch in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it aims to increase its global smartphone shipments by several times this year from 1 million units last year by selling more mid-end and entry-level products in 25 countries.

The PC vendor set the goal as it launched the mid-tier Liquid E3 smartphone yesterday in Taipei in collaboration with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信).

The Liquid E3 features a 4.7-inch display, a 1.2 gigahertz quad-core processor and a 13-megapixel rear camera. It runs Google Inc’s Android 4.2 operating system.

Acer said the Liquid E3 is pre-installed with AcerCloud, a part of the company’s “Build Your Own Cloud” (BYOC) data storage service that allows users to access their documents across PCs and mobile devices.

“Actually, we performed significantly better than our competitors,” Acer president and chief executive officer Jason Chen (陳俊聖) said at the product launch, referring to sales growing month-on-month at a higher rate than those of China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).

Chen said Acer’s sales performance was “much improved” since he took over as CEO on Jan. 1.

Sales increased for a third straight month last month to NT$30.79 billion (US$1.02 billion). However, sales for the first quarter fell 16.42 percent year-on-year to NT$76.73 billion, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2006, company data showed.

Chen declined to say if Acer would make a profit on its smartphone business this year, citing the regulatory “quiet period” it is required to obey ahead of its investors’ conference on May 9.

Chairman Stan Shih (施振榮), 70, told attendees at the launch that Acer has “stopped bleeding” financially and he is confident it will become a top-tier smartphone brand soon.

The world’s No. 4 PC brand said it plans to collaborate with a top-tier telecom in Europe to sell its new smartphone products in six European countries starting this quarter.

The company said it plans to introduce about 10 new smartphone models this year and market the products in 25 countries, up from 12 countries last year.

The Liquid E3 is priced at NT$9,900 without a contract.

Consumers can buy it for NT$3,490 by signing a 30-month service contract with Chunghwa Telecom and paying a monthly subscription fee of NT$533.

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