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Acer Getting Into Smartphone Game

Notbook and PC maker Acer is planning to unveil its first-ever smartphone at the Mobile World Congress next month.

Details are scant, but the notebook and PC maker this week sent invitations to its Feb. 16 press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The invitation indicates Acer will have a "smartphone launch" and that Acer President and CEO Gianfranco Lanci will speak.

An Acer smartphone has long been the subject of rumor. In the past, the company has hinted that it may have a smartphone ready early this year.

The first self-branded Acer smartphone is the product of Acer's acquisition of smartphone maker E-TEN early last year. The March 2008 E-TEN buy gave Acer access to a successful phone maker that built products based on GPRS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and 3.5G GSM functionality. E-TEN also developed software applications in-house.

At the time of the acquisition, Acer indicated that it wanted to play in an arena more mobile than notebooks.

Acer has not released any device specifications. It is expected that the Acer device will run Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system.

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