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Acer launches new phablet, targets top five ranking in Taiwan

2014/08/20 19:36:51

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) Acer Inc. launched an almost 6-inch smartphone in Taiwan Wednesday as part of the PC maker's attempt to rank among the country's top five smartphone vendors within two years.

The Acer Liquid X1 is a 5.7-inch phablet sporting an octa-core 1.7 GHz processor from MediaTek Inc., 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and 4G LTE wireless connectivity.

It will go on sale Thursday through Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's largest mobile operator, at NT$7,990 (US$266) for a contract-free model.

Acer is hedging its best on the phablet as a major driver for smartphone sales in Taiwan in the current quarter, followed by another two handsets that will be released in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year, respectively, said Towny Huang, president of Taiwan operations at Acer.

He noted that Acer has an ambitious goal in the long term in Taiwan's smartphone market because of the high cost-performance seen in its handsets.

"We will go all out to enter the top five rankings (of smartphone vendors) in Taiwan," Huang said at the Liquid X1 launch. "We could achieve this target in two years if our competitors make mistakes."

Acer CEO Jason Chen said at the product launch that his company will take cautious steps in the smartphone market, aiming to win more consumer recognition rather than just increasing volumes.

According to statistics released July 29 by industry sources, Taiwan-based phone maker HTC Corp. was No. 1 in its home market in terms of smartphone sales volume in June, with a 22 percent share.

It was followed by Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea with a 15 percent share and Asustek Computer Inc. of Taiwan with 13 percent, the data showed.

Rankings outside the top three vendors are not listed, but not a single one of Acer's phones made it to the top 10 list that month.

In the global market, Acer's smartphone brand is being sold in 31 countries around the world, surpassing its target of 25 countries this year as well as its previous records of 12 countries in 2013 and three countries in 2012.

The company's smartphones are now sold in North and South America, Europe and Asia, and they are now available through the Americas from "as far north as Canada to as far south as Chile," Acer said in a statement on Aug. 15.

(By Jeffrey Wu)