New Acer smartphones with Windows Mobile 6.5 due next month

By , IDG News Service |  Personal Tech, Acer, smartphone

Acer plans to release three new smartphones in October to coincide with the debut of Microsoft's newest Windows Mobile operating system (OS), version 6.5, a company representative said Wednesday.

The three smartphones were originally slated to hit global markets in September. Microsoft recently set the launch date for Windows Mobile 6.5 for Oct. 6, according to its Web site.

The three handsets, the F1, L1 and C1, will also come with Acer's own user interface (UI), software designed to make the phone easier to use. The F1 is a thin handset dominated by a 3.8-inch touchscreen designed for Internet browsing, while the L1 is a slider-style smartphone, with a 3.0-inch touchscreen and a numerical keypad that slides out from the bottom. The third handset, the C1, is similar to the L1 but has a slightly larger 3.2-inch touchscreen and no slide-out keypad.

The C1 and L1 are designed to be inexpensive smartphones with similar features to conventional mobile phones but with touchscreens. The C1 will cost US$40-$50, or possibly less when paired with a contract with a mobile service operator, while the L1 will be slightly more expensive due to the slide-out numeric keypad, Acer officials said in June.

Pricing for the F1 was not available.

Acer started selling its first batch of smartphones, including the DX650, X960, M900 and F900, earlier this year. The F1, C1 and L1 are the company's second round of offerings.

Company representatives have consistently said their first smartphone with Google's Android mobile phone software will debut this year in the fourth quarter. Those plans have not changed.

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