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Acer eyes 10% of sales from smartphones by 2012

Acer Inc, the world's third-largest PC brand, is aiming to get 10% of its revenue within three years from a new line of smartphones it is preparing to launch in Barcelona, a spokeswoman said.

Acer will officially enter the increasingly popular smartphone arena with the launch of several models this week at a mobile telecoms show in Barcelona.

Acer spokeswoman Stella Chou gave the sales target, but would not provide more specifics. The company's new smartphones will be rolled out in 12 countries first, and will be later expanded to include other territories.

Acer is the latest in a string of companies to launch its own line of smartphones, with crosstown rival Asustek recently also announcing a tie-up with navigation device maker Garmin to sell co-branded mobile devices.

The smartphone industry was one of the few bright spots in the tech sector in 2008, growing by more than 22% even as the global financial crisis sapped demand for tech buys and hurt the bottom line of many technology companies.

However, many analysts point out that the sector is already crowded with large companies such as Nokia, Research in Motion and Apple, and new entrants may find it difficult to break into the smartphone supply chain. (Reuters)