Acer Developing Android Devices: Smartphone First on the List

April 29, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Acer announced this week it’s developing several devices using Google’s Android operating system, with a new smartphone due out at the end of 2009. The Taiwan company is now the third largest computer maker in the world, and is jumping on the Android bandwagon along with other companies, such as HP and Samsung Electronics.

Gianfranco Lanci, Acer president and CEO, spoke of Acer’s interest in the Android software at its recent first-quarter investors’ meeting. Lanci said, “The entire industry is looking at Android.”

Android is an open source software based on the linux platform, designed for mobile devices, which works particularly well for browsing interactive sites like YouTube. Designed by Google in 2007, the search engine company released the code last year to the Open Handset Alliance.

Acer’s research and development team is busy testing the Android software on a number of devices, with the smartphone being the most promising application. Acer is not planning, however to manufacture a netbook based on the Android operating system, in the near future.

Lanci plans to lead his company towards web browsing and communication devices, leaving traditional PCs to Linux and Windows operating systems for now. However, Hewlett-Packard is already in the pre-production phase of launching netbooks, using the Android software.

The great thing about Android is that its code is freely available, allowing technology companies to tinker with the code and develop new uses for it.

Acer just announced that its first-quarter net profit fell 31 percent, with shipments of its low-cost netbooks dropping from a high of 15 million to 12 million.

As the global recession is putting a serious dent in the sales figures of most computer makers, the open source platform, Android is one bright spot.



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