EXCLUSIVE: Acer to launch a budget phone, and Jade Primo Flagship handset in India

Laptop maker Acer is working on a new budget Android smartphone that has been planned for January 2016 launch. Acer recently hosted an event in India where it launched two new budget 4G-enabled smartphones, dubbed as the Liquid Z530 and Liquid Z630s.

Acer to launch Primo and a budget smartphone in Q1, 2016

Speaking with GizBot, at the sidelines of the event, Chief Marketing Officer S. Rajendran revealed that the company will be expanding its portfolio of budget smartphones by adding a new handset, which they plan to launch in January. This upcoming device will be the company's India-centric smartphone, with 4G LTE support and best of the features and specs for its range. The company is deciding the hardware for this phone, and is working on enhanced software features.

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Acer's roadmap for the year 2016 includes 8 new smartphones for global launch. However, the company understands that India is a different market and the requirement of users here is different from global market. For instance, the company wants to up the battery capacity for the phones planned for India, considering that network issues lead to higher battery consumption and early drainage of battery. While, in developed countries a lower battery capacity phone will still be able to run for longer in a single charge. Therefore, Acer India wants to bring India-centric phones to cater to the Indian consumers specifically.

The company also understands that Indian smartphone market is highly competitive, but is determined and aggressive about its expansion plans for India. In order to expand its smartphone business in the country, Acer will start assembling smartphones in India from December, at its unit in Puducherry. This facility will have a production capacity of 100,000 units per month, however the output in initial months will depend on the demand for their smartphones. Acer plans to invest $10 million on the production of smartphones at this facility, where it already produces its laptops and computers.

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Also, Rajendran told us that the company plans to launch its flagship smartphone, the Jade Primo in India in March, 2016. This is a Windows 10 OS powered smartphone which is Acer's premium, specs-heavy offering, but costs comparatively lower than other flagship smartphones. The Acer Jade Primo handset was first announced at IFA in September. The phone has a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, a 21MP rear camera, and an 8MP selfie snapper. The USP of the phone is Continuum feature which allows users turn their handset into an ultra-portable PC by connecting a mouse or keyboard to a phone and then the phone to a display. The company did not disclose the price of the phone.

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