Acer plans low-cost phones
PC brand Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it plans to unveil new smartphones priced below NT$5,000 (US$169) this year to cash in on the growing popularity of mobile devices for entry-level customers. The low-cost models would go on sale in the second half of the year in Southeast Asia and Europe, the company said. The strategy of making low-cost phones came after successful sales of the Acer Iconia B1 tablet — which costs less than US$150 — as the company’s latest foray into the affordable-tablet market. This year, Acer plans to launch six or seven smartphone models and aims to sell 1.5 million to 2 million smartphones, up from 600,000 to 700,000 units last year.
AU Optronics to raise funds
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) yesterday said its board had approved a fundraising plan to issue 1 billion common shares via a private placement. The company plans to use the proceeds to finance the development of advanced LCD manufacturing technologies such as Oxide TFT and to support capacity expansion, it said in a statement. The proceeds will also be used to improve the company’s financial structure and to replenish its operating fund. AU Optronics said it plans to offer the new shares in the form of bonds or as a rights issue at home or abroad, depending on market conditions. The fundraising program will need the approval of shareholders by June 19.