Acer working on several Android devices

Acer will ship an Android-based smartphone this year and is testing the software on several other devices

Acer is already working on several different devices using Google's Android operating system and software, and plans to launch a smartphone using the software later this year.

"The entire industry is looking at Android," said Acer president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci at the company's first-quarter investor's conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

"We are testing Android on a lot of different solutions," he said. "We are working on an Android solution for the smartphone, [but] I think it's too early to say if we're going to see Android on a netbook in the near future."

He said Android is "very, very good for communication and Web access and so on," but he's not sure yet if it's right for traditional PCs.

A smartphone with Android makes a lot more sense than a netbook with the OS, he said.

Google's Android software has become a popular topic due to its success so far in smartphones.

T-Mobile USA, the first mobile network operator globally to launch an Android handset, the G1, has sold one million of the smartphones in the first six months since it went on the market.

Although that's far less than the number of iPhones Apple sold in its first two quarters on the market, it's still a big start for a brand new operating system.

Several more Android smartphones have been announced recently, including a few more from the G1's developer, High Tech Computer (HTC), the first one from Samsung Electronics, and two for Far EasTone, a Taiwanese mobile network operator.

Netbooks are a new frontier for Android.

Hewlett-Packard earlier this year confirmed rumors that it had been testing Android on netbooks and China's Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies said its Android netbook is undergoing final testing before it launches.

Developed by Google, Android is a smartphone operating system that is meant to make Web browsing easy, especially on Google sites such as YouTube and Google Maps. The majority of netbooks today use Microsoft's Windows XP OS.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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