Acer debuts tablets, 4.8-inch smartphone

Acer said it will sell three tablet products early next year, marking the Taiwanese computer maker's entry into the crowded tablet market. The firm also announced a new 4.8-inch smartphone and said it will soon debut a digital media platform called Alive.

Acer introduced an Android smartphone with a 4.8-inch screen.At a media event in New York City, Acer executives provided few details about the products including pricing and whether they will be sold by wireless carriers. The company, which has yet to crack the U.S. market with smartphones, did not say if any of the products will be available in the United States. An Acer spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company said it will begin selling a tablet running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows platform in February. The company also plans to release in April two tablets--one a 10-inch device and the other with a 7-inch screen--based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. The 10-inch tablet runs on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset, supports 1080p video and has two cameras and an HDMI output. The 7-inch version will run a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) chipset and support Adobe Flash Player 10.1. Acer did not provide names or model numbers for the tablets.

Hewlett-Packard, LG, Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Samsung Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and others are all working to grab tablet market share from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Apple's iPad captured 95 percent of the market in the third quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Research firm Gartner expects tablet sales to jump from 19.5 million this year to 54 million in 2011.

Acer also announced a new, unnamed Android phone. The sleek phone sports a massive, 4.8-inch screen with 1024x480 resolution, stretching the bounds of what is a "phone." It also features a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 720p video recording, 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera and an HDMI output. Acer did not reveal pricing, but did say the phone will be widely available in April.

Acer, which has found some success with Android phones, has indicated in the past it wants to break into the U.S. smartphone market in 2011.

Finally, the company announced it will launch an app store called Alive in the U.K. and Italy in December. Alive will feature both free and premium content presented to users via real-time feeds supervised by content provider partners such as 7Digital, Zinio, Muzu and Casual Games.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Engadget post
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this CNet article
- see this FierceMobileContent article

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