Acer to sell smartphone in China using Alibaba's Aliyun OS

Alibaba's Aliyun OS has been previously sold on smartphones from local Chinese handset vendors

Taiwanese PC maker Acer said on Wednesday the company plans to release a new smartphone in China that will use a mobile operating system developed by a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

The smartphone, called the Acer A800, will use the latest version of the Aliyun OS, which was launched last year and developed by a subsidiary of Alibaba, the operator of two of the country's largest retail shopping sites.

While able to run Android apps, the Linux-based Aliyun OS was primarily built to run Web-based apps stored on company remote servers, that can also access Alibaba's e-commerce services. These so-called cloud apps on the Aliyun OS number around 500.

So far, only two local Chinese handset vendors, Haier and Tianyu, have released phones using the Aliyun OS, with Alibaba stating in May that sales of the handsets had reached 1 million.

Acer, although well-known as a top PC vendor, only began selling smartphones in China last year. The company has plans to release more handsets with the Aliyun OS for China, and will unveil another model on Thursday during a press event, said Muriel Kuan, an Acer marketing director.

The A800 is set to go on sale on Thursday through the Alibaba e-commerce site Taobao Mall. The handset will be sold without a contract at 2999 yuan (US$473). The A800 features a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels and has a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM.

China is already the world's largest smartphone market by shipments. But competition in the country's market has been stiff, with Samsung Electronics, Apple and local firms including Lenovo and Huawei Technologies leading sales in the country. At the same time, the Android OS dominates the Chinese market, with an 81 percent share in the second quarter, according to research firm Canalys.

As for Acer, the company's move to use the Aliyun OS is simply a first step for the Taiwanese PC maker to expand into China's mobile device market. According to CK Lu, an analyst with research firm Gartner, "The company still needs to invest heavily to be able to grow to a substantial phone brand in China."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?