Acer just confirmed that it will launch a branded smartphone in the first quarter of 2009. There has been much speculation over the last several months that Acer would take such action, and I'll go out on a limb and speculate that more companies will do the same.
Apparently resellers aren't terribly excited over the new release, primarily due to the small margins. Welcome to the recession, guys, smaller margins are the new normal. And what's more, with smartphones gaining such popularity and gaining a greater share of business users, the margins are going to go down even further. Price competition is going to become intense on the smartphone front, and I'm still looking for an iPhone equivalent to break the $100 barrier--without a contract stipulation. I don't expect Acer to break this barrier with this release, but knowing Acer's history on price competitiveness, I would expect them to come out with something competitive enough to give Apple a run for its money.