Acer plans to build Windows Phone 7 smartphones, Android tablets and MeeGo-powered gadgets, the company’s CEO told AllThingsD.
In a wide-ranging interview, Acer’s Gianfranco Lanci laid out the company’s thinking on a variety of hot-button issues, including the progress of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. Lanci said Acer initially planned to launch an Android-powered tablet this year running Froyo–Android 2.2–but that “we took the decision to wait for Honeycomb when it is available. I think it is going to be probably in Q1 (before we have an Android tablet). Now you can have Gingerbread on a tablet, but we are not convinced it is the right solution.”
Acer’s position on Android 2.2, dubbed Froyo, comes as little surprise. Google representatives have said that Froyo is not intended for tablets. Indeed, LG recently delayed its own tablet product to wait for the next, presumably tablet-friendly version of Android.
As for Windows Phone 7, Acer’s planned support of the platform provides Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) with another vector for distribution. Samsung, Dell, LG and others are building WP7 gadgets.
Indeed, Acer launched its smartphone game 18 months ago with Windows Mobile devices (and subsequently switched to an Android focus), and Lanci said the company plans to embrace Windows Phone 7 because “if we look at Windows Phone 7, today, I think we see the same opportunity you can see on Android in terms of customization.”
Finally, Lanci confirmed Acer is planning a MeeGo product, though he did not provide details. MeeGo is the operating system created through the teaming of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Intel, and is intended for smartphones, tablets and other electronic gizmos.
Acer made its name building inexpensive netbooks and laptops, and has parlayed that electronic expertise into the smartphone realm. (“What we want to be is a global provider of mobile solutions–smartphone, tablet, netbook, notebook–any kind of mobile, going from content creation to content consumption,” Lanci said.) The company primarily offers its smartphone wares in Europe, but company executives have expressed a desire to expand into the U.S. smartphone market.