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]