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Acer, Alibaba call off phone launch after pressure from Google

2012/09/13 22:00:47

Shanghai, Sept. 13 (CNA) Acer Inc., a leading Taiwanese PC vendor, and China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group called off a joint press conference held to unveil a smartphone Thursday in Shanghai due to direct pressure from Google Inc.

At the center of attention is the Acer A800 smartphone, which is run on Alibaba's latest operating system Aliyun O.S. 2.0., a system that is primarily built to run web-based applications that are stored on remote servers.

The cancellation was due to Google's direct pressure on Acer, which has released many previous models that run on the search engine's Android operating system, Alibaba said in a statement.

Acer received notification from Google prior to the phone launch that if Acer's latest model uses Alibaba's Aliyun O.S., it will terminate its Android-related cooperation with the Taiwanese company.

The last minute cancellation came a day after Apple Inc. unveiled its latest model iPhone 5.

Prior to the statement from Alibaba, only a token explanation for the cancellation of the press event was given to hundreds of reporters waiting for the phone launch.

According to Genedigi Group, Acer's public relations firm in China, the conference was not cancelled but postponed due to "internal factors" in both companies.

The press conference, originally scheduled for 2:30 p.m., was canceled around 2 p.m. Wang Jian, the chief technology officer of Alibaba, and Dave Chan, general manager of Acer's global smartphone business group overseeing Chinese operations, did not show up as expected.

Acer A800 is the Taiwanese company's flagship model targeting the Chinese market. It features a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels and has a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM.

The model features the same look as Acer's previous models, which claimed a Design & Innovation Award and a Best Design Award at the 2012 Computex Taipei, as well as an iF Product Design Award in Germany.

(By Rita Cheng and Ann Chen)