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Acer Announces Second Android NFC Phone

Taiwan-based device maker Acer has announced its second NFC-enabled smartphone, the Liquid Glow, which will run Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

The mid-range smartphone follows the release by Acer of the Android-based Liquid Express, in November in the United Kingdom. Acer said at the time that all of its forthcoming Android smartphones would support NFC, and so far the company is making good on that pledge.

Acer said it would release the new phone, the Liquid Glow, in early summer. With the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, the smartphone will be able to support Android Beam, Google’s enhanced peer-to-peer sharing feature for Android, using NFC.

“With Android Beam, photos can be shared by a single tap with another NFC powered Android device, without the hassle of launching (an) application or pairing,” Acer said in a statement today. “What’s more, Android Beam can also share anything like contacts, favorite apps, music or videos instantaneously through NFC.”

Acer, which offers the phone in three colors, including Sakura Pink, is targeting the device at the youth market. It will be showing the handset at the Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona.

The device maker didn’t mention the ability to do payment or ticketing with the Liquid Glow, though the phone probably carries an NXP Semiconductors NFC chip that could support the single-wire protocol. If so, this would enable secure applications, such as payment, to be stored on SIM cards and communicate with the NFC chip in the device.

In announcing its first NFC-enabled smartphone, the Liquid Express, in November, Acer played up the NFC angle.

“As a technology of the future, NFC is a priority for Acer, as it can be used for multiple purposes: payment, transport, tickets, loyalty cards, cultural information, and that’s without having explored the thousands more applications that will follow,” said Acer vice president Allen Burnes in a statement.

The announcement noted its target operators were Orange UK and T-Moible UK, but Orange has not apparently equipped the Liquid Express yet to work with its Quick Tap mobile-payment service. Subscribers can use it for such other NFC features as tag reading, however.

As one of the largest PC makers in the world, Acer is expected to incorporate NFC technology in such devices as Ultrabooks, or ultra-slim laptops, starting this year.

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