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Acer tapping China's smartphone market

2012/07/24 19:11:36

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Taiwan's Acer Inc., the world's fourth largest PC vendor by shipment, is gearing up to gain ground in China's mobile market, where it recently launched two new mid-range smartphones.

Dave Chan, general manager of Acer's touch business group in China, said he is confident that "Acer will rank among the top 10 smartphone vendors within three years" through its deepened partnership with Chinese carriers, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Henry Wang, Acer's senior manager of public relations, told CNA that the company's chairman J.T. Wang met with several Chinese telecom operators last week to talk about future cooperation plans, but Wang declined to name the operators.

The Acer AK330 and AT390 phones are both powered by Google Inc.'s Android 4.0 operating system and equipped with a 4.3-inch high-definition display.

The AK330 will run on the 3G WCDMA network from China Unicom and start at a price of 1,599 Chinese yuan (US$250). The AT390 will support China's home-grown TD-SCDMA network offered by China Mobile, with a price tag of 1,499 Chinese yuan.

According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, China's smartphone shipments will likely hit the range of 150 million to 170 million units in 2012, thanks to rapid upgrades of feature phones.

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. was ranked as the top smartphone vendor in China in the first quarter of 2012 with 23 percent market share, followed by Chinese brand Huawei Technologies Co. with 12 percent.

China's ZTE Corp. and Lenovo Group were tied at third place, each with a 10 percent share, followed by Coolpad (9 percent), Apple Inc. (8 percent) and Nokia Oyj (6 percent).

In eighth, ninth and 10th places were Google's subsidiary Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (4 percent), Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Technology (3 percent) and Taiwan's HTC Corp. (3 percent), respectively, the report said.

"This is a pyramid market with the high-end segment taking about 18 percent of the total while the low-end occupies over 57 percent as the volume zone," Morgan Stanley analyst Jasmine Lu said in the report.

"The mid-range segment (1,500-3,000 Chinese yuan) is heavily price competitive and gradually squeezed by the two ends," she said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)