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Acer to launch new smartphone, tablet from Sept.

TAIPEI--Acer Inc., one of the world's leading personal computer vendors, is planning to launch new smartphone and tablet computer models starting from September, in a bid to boost its sales for the fourth quarter of this year.

Jim Wong, Acer's corporate president, said in an investor conference on Friday that the new smartphones, using the Android operating system, are expected to make a presence in IFA 2012, one of the world's largest consumer electronics and home appliance trade fairs, which will be held between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5 in Berlin.

Wong said that in order to gain a higher share in the competitive global smartphone market, Acer's new gadgets will be packed with the company's cloud technology services — AcerCloud — for free, to enrich their functions and attract buyers.

The executive said Acer will unveil two new tablet computer models which will be bundled with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system to raise the company's tablet computer shipments in the fourth quarter.

Wong said the company expects its tablet computer shipments will reach 2 million units in 2012.

While many market analysts have high hopes that the launch of the Windows 8 operating system will help the PC business regain its footing after seeing slower sales because of the popular iPad, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said that it remains to be seen whether PCs with the new system will be well received in the market at a time when the world's economy is slowing down.

Under such unfavorable economic circumstances, Wang said he is hoping to see a “medium growth” in sales for the second half of this year compared to the first half, a downgrade from a previous estimate of significant growth.

In the first half, Acer posted NT$387 million (US$12.9 million) in net profit or NT$0.14 per share, compared with a loss per share of NT$2.12 recorded a year earlier. Its consolidated sales fell 2.7 percent year-on year to NT$223.58 billion.

For the second quarter alone, the PC vendor reported NT$0.02 in EPS, down 83 percent from the first quarter, on consolidated sales of NT$110.55 billion. The second quarter EPS was lower than market expectations.

Wang said Acer's consolidated sales for the third quarter are expected to stay flat from the second quarter, while quarter-on quarter sales growth for the fourth quarter are likely to range between 5 percent and 10 percent.

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