Acer outs first Intel-based Android phone in the Philippines

Intel-powered Acer Liquid C1 smartphone.

MANILA, Philippines — Taiwanese PC brand Acer is the first technology company to bring an Android smartphone powered by an Intel processor to the Philippines via the Liquid C1 phone, which will retail for P12,490 locally.

The new Intel-based smartphone will be powered by the new “Lexington” Atom Z2420 chip clocked at 1.2 GHz and comes with the chip maker’s proprietary “hyperthreading” technology.

This will be Intel’s latest foray into powering smartphones with their chips, following limited releases in certain territories beginning last year. In January, the company also announced a partnership with Lenovo in the form of the K900 phone, which uses Intel’s 2 GHz dual-core “Clover Trail” CPU.

Calling the launch of the Acer Liquid C1 in the Philippines as a “milestone” for the company, outgoing Intel Philippines Country Manager Ricky Banaag said their alignment and long collaboration with Acer in the PC space makes the launch “more exciting.”

“We have optimized this (chip) for Android applications, because we realized that apps for mobile users are very immersive and multimedia-centric,” Banaag said, underscoring the return of the “Intel Inside” slogan but this time on smartphones.

“[With the Z2420], we are really providing a platform to deliver high performance for exciting apps,” he added.

Acer executives said that because of the architecture and design of Intel’s chips, the connectivity options on Intel-based smartphones are a lot faster, enabling up to 21 Mbps of downlink streaming on quad-band technology.

The Liquid C1 phone will also come with a 4.3-inch TFT IPS Touch capacitive display, a 400 MHz graphics engine, as well as 1GB of RAM. The phone has an 8-megapixel rear camera and will be powered by the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Android operating system.

Along with the Liquid C1, Acer also launched two new smartphones that are not powered by Intel chips, namely the Liquid E1 and the Liquid Z2. Both phones will have dual-SIM capabilities and will be powered by the Android Jelly Bean operating system.

Touted as the more mid-range in Acer’s phone lineup, the Liquid E1 will get a boost from the 1 GHz dual-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. Its 5-megapixel rear camera as well as the two huge rear stereo speakers make it the perfect multimedia smartphone, executives said.

Meanwhile, the Liquid Z2 phone is Acer’s ticket to the low-end, affordable market with its P4,990 price tag and a “Quick Mode” feature that simulates the interface of a feature phone. Executives said they intend to lure in users looking to switch from feature phones to smartphones with this model.

Acer Philippines General Manager Manuel Wong said their latest smartphone lineup complements their ecosystem of technology products that complete the “Family of Touch,” which includes devices from desktop PCs to notebooks, tablets, and now, smartphones.

“We all notice that the IT and telco space are converging, so it’s but normal for us to put more products on the telco side, continuously to enhance the end-users’ experience,” Wong said.

Dio Vasquez, the local unit’s senior product manager, said that though they slipped into a short-lived hiatus in the smartphone race last year, the company is now more strategically positioned to conquer the market.

“We never stopped selling smartphones, but last year we decided to focus on certain areas,” Vasquez explained.

“We developed a stronger team this time so we can have more focus on this growing market in the Philippines. This time, we are geared and ready for the market,” he added.

The three new smartphones will be available in Acer concept stores, retail stores, and with telco partners come April 2013.