Acer used Mobile World Congress to unveil its entry into the smartphone market, with the Tempo range of handsets.

The touchscreen devices all run the Windows Mobile platform and are the result of Acer buying Taiwanese smartphone maker E-Ten last year. Developing its new smartphones wouldn't have been possible without the R&D know-how it got via that deal, said Aymar de Lencquesaing, the head of Acer's Smart Handheld Business Group.

The first set of handsets will be based on the existing version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system. Included is, for example, the M900, which comes equipped with a Qwerty keyboard, a 3.8in screen, and a fingerprint scanner for authentication. It also has High-Speed Download Packet Access (HSDPA) support, built-in GPS and a 5Mp camera.


The M900 is one of the smartphones launched by Acer at Mobile World Congress

For users who aren't fond of Qwerty keyboards there is the F900, which also comes with 3.8in screen. It has a 3.2Mp camera, and support for Wi-Fi.

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Both phones will start shipping at the end of March or the beginning of April, according to Acer. Pricing will be announced at the time of launch.

The company is also working on a second set of smartphones that will be based on Windows Mobile 6.5, which was also announced at Mobile World Congress this week, and come out by the end of the year.

De Lencquesaing also dropped hints about Acer working on smartphones based other operating systems than Windows Mobile, including Android, but didn't provide any details.

Acer's goal is to become one of the top five smartphone vendors, which means it would at least have to displace Sharp from the fifth spot and sell about 1.3 million units per quarter, according to third quarter sales statistics from Gartner.

See also: First Acer smartphone launching in February