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Acer smartphone launching Feb. 16

The PC maker will introduce its first handheld at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Acer smartphone MWC

Less than a year after buying up smartphone maker E-Ten, Acer will debut its first handheld, a company representative confirmed Wednesday.

The Taiwanese PC maker has just begun distributing invitations to a press event that will be held next month during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Both President and CEO Gianfranco Lanci and Aymar de Lencquesaing, the head of the Smart Handheld business unit, will be on hand for the event. The invitation specifically says "smartphones" launch, so it doesn't sound like it's going to be an event focused on a single model or device like, say, Apple's past iPhone events, or the Palm Pre launch.

If Acer's found a way to enter the smartphone market in less than a year, it begs the question: where is Dell? The Texas PC maker has had almost a complete makeover of its consumer business in the last two years, but it's been focused on its laptop lineup mostly.

During that time, Dell hired Ron Garriques, a former executive in Motorola's cell phone division--and still nothing. It's coming up on two years since the company pulled out of the handheld market and all we've heard so far is an offhand comment from CEO Michael Dell last July that his company is "kind of working on" making another smartphone. To be fair, Dell did say during the summer not to expect it soon. But still...where is it?