It was always on the cards from the moment Acer announced its intention to enter the smartphone arena.

Now the Taiwanese electronics giant has made it clear that it plans to drive down the cost of smartphones – to a level where mobile operators could give them away for free.

Acer plans to release two low-priced handsets – the F1 and L1 – in October. Both will be touchscreen devices running Windows Mobile 6.5.

They will obviously be pitched as entry-level smartphones and will be sold as Pay as you Go models for around USD $62 after network subsidies.

Acer’s Smart Handheld Business Group head, Aymar de Lencquesaing, speaking at CeBit, said there were four billion mobile phone users on the planet, but only 200 million smartphone users.

He reasoned that driving down the price and enabling operators to give the phones away free – with a contract – was the "surest way to drive adoption".

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