Acer Debuts beTouch, newTouch and Ferrari Smartphones
Acer has used the opportunity of the Mobile World Congress to expand
its smartphone offerings by four.
On Feb. 15, Acer introduced the Android-running beTouchE110, the Windows Mobile-based neoTouch P300 and P400, and an Acer Ferrari smartphone-following the pair's tradition of offering notebooks that celebrate the Ferrari Formula One team.
The beTouch E110 is a consumer-geared phone, positioned as both inexpensive-though no price was offered-and a gateway phone to the burgeoning mobile Internet. IDC expects mobile Internet use to double by 2013, passing the 1 million-user mark.
The E110 runs Google's Android 1.5, or the Cupcake edition, features a 2.8-inch QVGA touch screen. It runs on HSDPA/HSUPA and GSM/EDGE networks and includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM radio, and microSD and microUSB slots. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera, Android e-mail and an Android Web browser, as well as support for SMS, MMS and various social networking sites.
Below the touch screen is a five-way navigation key, and users can choose their favorite of three styles of virtual keyboards. Available in black and dark blue, the beTouch E110 will arrive in March.
Acer's two neoTouch smartphones-being marketed, in what one imagines is a bit of last-minute PR cleanup work, as the newTouch in the United States and France-are geared more toward professionals, or at least those users wanting to separate work and play. Both offer all the connectivity options of the beTouch phones-3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, the ports, etc.-and include 3.2-megapixel cameras, but run Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5.3 operating system.
The newTouch P300 pairs a 3.2-inch WQVGA touch screen with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, Internet Explorer 6 Mobile with Flash support and access to corporate e-mail via Microsoft Exchange. The Microsoft Office Suite is included, along with Google and Bing search engines.
Balancing these enterprise features are quick access to Facebook, Flickr and Blogger, and a built-in YouTube application that Acer says can stream high-definition video on the go.
The sleek newTouch P400 loses the slide-out keypad and so is thinner than the P300-at 12mm, compared with the P300's 15.1mm thickness-with a bit more chic and chrome. Notably, the black and high-gloss silver coating wrappings are said to be fingerprint-proof.
The touch screen, which Acer describes as offering "ultra-sensitive precision," is a 3.2-inch HVGA that Acer has paired, along with the Microsoft OS and slew of connectivity options, with a 600MHz Qualcomm 7227 processor.
Also included are the Bing search engine, Internet Explorer 6 Mobile with Flash support, Office applications, Microsoft Exchange Server Support, Windows Media Player 10, Outlook, Hotmail and Webmail support, as well as Microsoft Direct Push mail and PC syncing features to back up data on the phone to a notebook or netbook.
While the newTouch P300 will arrive in March, mobile professionals will have to wait a little longer for the P400, which isn't expected until May.
March will also see the arrival of the Scuderia Ferrari smartphone-which Ferrari fans can expect to see renewed each year through 2012.
Acer was short on details, except to offer that the phone will run Android 2.1, or ??Â½clair, and will "amaze both the trendiest style enthusiasts and techno-geeks."
Gianpiero Morbello, vice president of marketing and branding with Acer, added, "From the original concept to the finished product, the new smartphone was conceived down to the finest details with the idea of giving a stronger sense of belonging to all Ferrari fans."
Which likely translates to: expect to see red.