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PC giant Acer to launch new MediaTek-based smartphones in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese PC vendor Acer Inc. announced Wednesday that a new smartphone based on MediaTek Inc. chips will be introduced to Taiwan in a move to expand its product offerings for entry-level and price-sensitive customers.

The Acer Liquid Z5 sports a MediaTek MT6572 dual-core 1.3GHz processor, a 5-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera, 1GB internal memory and a battery capacity of 2,000 mAh. It is going on sale through Chunghwa Telecom Co., the country's largest mobile service provider, at NT$6,990 (US$231).

The handset is Acer's fifth Liquid series phone to use MediaTek chips over the past year, following the E1 and E2, which target mid- range consumers, the Z3 for entry-level users and the S1 for the high-end market, according to the company.

Acer's partnership with MediaTek is likely to continue into the second half of this year, when the computer maker is set to launch a full range of 4G LTE phones, said Peter Hsieh, vice president of Acer's corporate account business division.

“We are studying which market segment will be interested in adopting 4G phones, which are designed for more applications other than just making calls,” he said at a press conference announcing the Z5.

The company sold about 70,000 smartphones in Taiwan last year and aims to double the figure in 2014, Hsieh said.

Acer's new CEO, Jason Chen, told reporters a day earlier that the company is maintaining its global smartphone shipment target of 5 million units for 2014, more than triple its estimated shipments of 1 million to 1.5 million units for 2013.

Chen said that the smartphone, tablet and Web-centric Chromebook laptop markets “remain promising” and that Acer is looking for ways of expanding its footprint in those areas.

Acer shares closed up 0.27 percent at NT$18.3 Wednesday in Taipei trading.

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