Acer Inc., the world’s second largest PC brand, aims to triple its smartphone sales in Taiwan this year as the smartphone penetration rate into the mobile phone market increases rapidly, a company source said Tuesday.
Acer aims to sell 90,000 to 100,000 smartphones in the local market, compared with 30,000 units sold in 2010. In addition, the Taiwan-based company plans to launch eight to nine new models in Taiwan this year, said the source, who released the information under condition of anonymity.
The source said about 9 million mobile phones were sold in Taiwan last year, of which smartphones accounted for 20 to 30 percent of the total. He predicted the rate will further increase to 40 or 50 percent by the end of this year.
Asked about the launch schedule of Acer’s Iconia tablet series, the source said Acer is slated to start selling two models in late March or early April in Taiwan, and forecasts that the Taiwan market for tablets will grow to 200,000 to 300,000 units in 2011.
However, the source noted that Acer’s supply chain is unable to meet the first wave of tablet orders globally due to strong market demand and components shortages in touchscreen panels and camera lenses.
Separately, Acer officially launched its Android-based “Liquid Mini” smartphone on Tuesday. It expects the phone to appeal to entry-level mobile users. The company also announced it would expand its smartphone retail channels from telecom operators to local retailers that sell electronics.
“We think the phone will meet the demands of some feature phone users who would like to buy smartphones with only basic functions, instead of heavy-use data services, ” said Peter Shieh, Acer vice president of corporate account business division for Taiwan operations, at the product launch.
The 3.2-inch smartphone, priced NT$9,900 (US$336.6), will go on sale through two carriers, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. and Taiwan Mobile Co., as well as Carrefour Taiwan, one of the country’s largest hypermarket chains, according to a statement from Acer’s product launch event.