Acer to launch first non-Windows smartphone this year

Acer plans to launch its first non-Windows smartphone later this year, but declined to say if it would use Google's Android

Acer plans to launch its first non-Windows smartphone in the second half of this year, according to company representatives.

The world's third largest PC vendor last month announced its first ever family of smartphones, called Tempo. All of the handsets use Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS.

Officials at the announcement event hinted at future Acer smartphones using other OSs, including Google's Android, but provided few details.

Acer representatives in Taipei say the first non-Windows OS smartphones by the company will hit world markets later this year, though they also declined to say which OS the handsets will use.

The company is also currently working on smartphones to release later this year that use Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 6.5.

Google Android has won accolades as a new alternative software for smartphone makers. The first smartphones with Android on board came out in the U.S. late last year, and they were made by Taiwan's High Tech Computer (HTC).

Since the handsets, known as the T-Mobile G1 or HTC Dream, hit the market, reports of other Taiwanese companies making Android smartphones have surfaced. Some reports have said Asustek Computer plans to make Android smartphones, while others say Acer is working on one.

Asustek representatives declined to comment on speculation.

Acer bought its way into the smartphone business last year with the acquisition of Taiwanese handset maker E-Ten Information Systems. The company is now part of Acer's smart handheld business.

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Dan Nystedt

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