Acer shows off Android-powered Stream smartphone, hints at tablet

Netbook and laptop vendor Acer took the wraps off its latest Android smartphone, the Stream, which boasts the standard bevy of high-end specifications as well as the addition of a new user interface overlay supplied by Acer. The firm also showed off an Android tablet ereader--likely geared to compete against Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) popular iPad. The company said the ereader will be available by year-end.

Acer's new Stream sports the Android 2.1 operating system, Qualcomm's (NSYE:QCOM) 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 512 MB of RAM, AMOLED screen, HDMI-out and support for HSDPA 7.2, Bluetooth and WiFi connections. For fans of high-tech marketing rhetoric, Acer offered this: "Acer Stream is the utmost expression of technology, design, performance and entertainment."

Perhaps most importantly, Acer said the device introduces a "completely brand new user interface that has been totally redesigned in order to focus on what is essential to users." Specifically, Acer said the new UI includes a 3D interface, a quick-start status bar, a history panel for switching among applications, and expanded customization offerings. The action is notable as it appears to put Acer among the likes of HTC, Motorola (NASDAQ:MOT), Sony Ericsson and other Android licensees, which have added their own UI overlays on top of the stock Android platform to differentiate their products.

An Acer representative was not immediately available to answer additional questions about the Stream, including when and where it will go on sale, and what it will cost. Acer's initial Android smartphone, the Liquid, is in Asian and European markets, but the company has yet to release smartphones in the U.S. market.

As for Acer's Android tablet, according to reports the company's CEO Gianfranco Lanci showed off the device during a company press conference. Lanci did not provide many details on the forthcoming device, dubbed LumiRead, other than to say it will arrive in the fourth quarter and will provide ereader functions, with storage for around 1,500 books. Acer is one of a number of companies--including Hewlett-Packard and others--toying with tablets following the massive success of Apple's iPad device.

Acer's latest smartphone actions come as little surprise. Lanci said in February that the company aims to more than triple smartphone sales, from 3 million this year to more than 10 million in 2011. The company is building phones running both Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Mobile platforms, and is one of a number of computer makers--HP, Lenovo and Dell, to name a few--to target smartphones as an engine of growth.

For more:
- see this Acer release on the Stream
- see this Acer release on its touchscreen products
- see this BGR post on the Stream
- see this WSJ article on the Acer tablet ereader (sub. req.)

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