Acer jumped feet first into the mobile phone arena by debuting a handful of new Windows Mobile handsets at MWC 2009. At a launch event today, Acer and C2O Corporation officially launched eight of these handsets in the Singapore market. Available now are the dual-SIM DX900 ($530 USD), the dual-faced DX650 ($397 USD) and the compact X960 ($463 USD). Expected in May but not yet priced are the F900 and the M900, and then coming later in 2009 are the F1, L1 and C1. Hit the jump for specs on the five handsets launching initially.
Two models in Acer’s recently announced line of smartphones may be hitting the shelves soon according to Vincent Chen, manager of product marketing at Acer’s Smart Handheld Business. The DX900 is expected to be released by the end of the month and will feature a 2.8“ VGA touchscreen, dual SIM slots, quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA, 3.2 MP autofocus camera, GPS, WiFi, bluetooth 2.0 and Windows Mobile 6.1. The X960, expected early next month, lacks the dual SIM capability of the DX900 but is otherwise similarly spec’d. The higher end M900 and F900 which sport a more respectable 3.8″ WVGA touchscreen display are not expected until later in Q2 2009.
If you followed our coverage of MWC this past week, odds are you were just as unimpressed with Acer’s showing as we were. To recap quickly, the company announced a handful of Windows Mobile handsets that were decent efforts but offered nothing in the way of innovation or even differentiation. Touchscreens, Windows Mobile, a UI band-aid, etc. According to a report from PCMag however, our interest in Acer’s new gear may have just been kicked up a notch. What did the trick? A single word — “free”. The report quotes Aymar de Lencquesaing, President of Acer’s Smartphone Unit, as stating the company is working with AT&T and T-Mobile to offer its handsets for free on contract in the US.
While it remains true that none of Acer’s newly-unveiled handsets are smartphones we would actively seek out, the free element completely changes things. As US carrier interest in netbooks continues to increase, Acer plans to use its position in the netbook market as leverage to gain carrier adoption of its smartphones. Smooth. If Acer can indeed manage to pull it off and hock its smartphone wares in the US with no upfront cost, a whole new demographic would have access to fairly well-equipped smartphones – good news all around. Of course we would expect Acer’s Windows Mobile 6.1-powered Tempo line to be the only range of handsets that might come in for free any time soon, with choices from its C1, E1, F1 and L1 possibly being introduced further down the line as Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets begin to launch. Would any of you get reeled in by a Tempo with a $0 entry fee?
[Via Unwired View]
Have you found yourself itching lately for a brand new Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone with a familiar form factor and specs that are a good 18 – 24 months old? No? That’s odd, because Acer seems to think handsets in the aforementioned vein will be just what the doctor ordered as it battles to become relevant in the smartphone game. Sure the new Tempo line announced today by Acer looks to be a quartet of sleek and sexy handsets, but in this day and age we’re looking for much, much more bang for our buck. Hit the jump for specs on the newly unveiled X960, F900, M900 and DX900, pictured above starting clockwise from the top left corner, and let us know if Acer won your hard-earned cash with its MWC announcement.