Acer eyeing 6-inch phablet devices

07/29/2013 07:31 PM

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Taiwan's Acer Inc., the world's fourth-largest PC maker, said Monday that it plans to launch more phone-tablet hybrids, or phablets, to capitalize on the growing popularity of the large-screen mobile device market.

The company launched a 5.7-inch smartphone in Taiwan that same day, but also sees opportunities for phones larger than 6 inches, said Peter Shieh, Acer's vice president of corporate account business division in Taiwan.

"Acer will certainly make phones with larger screens, but we are still assessing the possibility of bringing such models to Taiwan," Shieh told CNA at the launch of the Liquid S1 phone, which sports a 1.5GHz quad-core processor from MediaTek Inc.

He mentioned that Acer is the first brand in Taiwan to adopt a MediaTek chipset in a smartphone, but said it has not yet been decided which chip maker's solution will be used for its 6-inch phablet models.

The phablet -- a portmanteau of the words "phone" and "tablet" -- is defined by analysts as a smartphone with a display sized 5-inches or bigger.

Worldwide shipments of phablets in 2013 are forecast to reach 60.4 million units, up 136 percent from 25.6 million last year, according to data from research firm IHS iSuppli.

Shieh said the 5.7-inch Liquid S1 will go on sale in August through Chunghwa Telecom Co., the country's largest mobile carrier, at a cost of NT$12,900 (US$431).

Acer aims to sell 20,000 units of the Liquid S1 in Taiwan this year, while its total phone shipments in the local market are forecast to reach 100,000 units, he added.

In terms of the global market, the Taiwanese firm said in April that it expects to sell 1.5 million to 2 million smartphones this year, up from 500,000 to 600,000 units a year earlier.

(By Jeffrey Wu)ENDITEM/J

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