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Acer to sell Android phones, Netbooks

Acer changes its tune on Android, announcing that an Aspire One Netbook with the OS will be released in the third quarter.

Acer announced on Tuesday a version of its Aspire One Netbook that will run the Android operating system.

The manufacturer made the announcement at the Computex show in Taiwan, promising a release for the Android-based Netbook in the third quarter. Android was originally intended as a platform for smartphones, but recent months have seen great interest in porting the system over to small, cheap sub-notebooks.

An Acer Aspire One Acer

"Netbooks are designed to be compact in size and easy to connect to the Internet wherever you go," Jim Wong, Acer's president of IT products, said in a statement. "The Android operating system offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the internet; for this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android Netbooks for added convenience to our customers."

The Taiwanese manufacturer said the majority of Acer Netbooks will come with Android as an alternative operating system to Microsoft's Windows.

"Acer believes the Android operating system will contribute significantly to the worldwide Netbook market growth," the company said in the statement.

Just a few months ago, Acer executives said that Android wasn't ready for use in Netbooks.

On Monday, Acer also announced it is formally joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), the Google-led consortium overseeing the development of the Android platform. The company now plans to release an Android-based smartphone in the fourth quarter.

Acer only entered the smartphone market in February, when it showed off several Windows Mobile-based devices.

Rival handset manufacturers that have already brought out, or are scheduled to bring out, Android smartphones, include HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.