Acer jumped headfirst into the mobile phone market this year, mostly relying on the tried and true PocketPC. They are readying themselves for year two and are promising a balanced WinMo / Android mix. This week marks the launch of their first attempt at an Android phone – the Acer Liquid.
The Acer Liquid runs Android 1.6 Donut on a Snapdragon CPU (clocked at 768MHz) with a WVGA touchscreen and a 5MP camera – not bad for their first try. It’s very similar in hardware to the Acer neoTouch. It left us with mixed feelings, although that was mostly because of how little was done to improve the vanilla WinMo (which no longer cuts the mustard).
There are interesting things happening in the tech world – computer manufacturers (Dell, Toshiba, HP and of course Apple) are getting into the smartphone business, while Nokia released a netbook – the Nokia Booklet 3G. Oh, and bridging the two worlds are things like the Acer Aspire One AOD 250, which dualboots Windows XP and Android.
Going back to Acer, they won’t try to fight the big, well established manufacturers but instead release about 10 phones a year. This echoes Apple’s approach – focus on a handful of device and try and make them as good as possible. That seems to work well for Apple – iPods, iPhones, they’re everywhere you look.
Acer think it will work for them too – they are targeting a 6-7% market share for smartphones in three to five years. Their strategy relies on the falling prices of smartphones, which in turn increases their numbers compared to feature phones. Current predictions have Acer reaching the 1 million phones sold mark some time next year.
Right now, Clove UK has the Acer Liquid on preorder for 286 pounds (329 US dollars) for the UK. Expansys Spainn has it on preorder too for 340 euro (508 US dollars). The Acer Liquid is also expected to hit France in December.