Yesterday Computer World reported that Acer was developing an Android tablet with an Intel Sandy Bridge processor and that the company would be scaling back its netbook plans to make room for tablets. Today Acer says neither of those things is quite true.
In a statement released today, Acer says that the role of personal computers is evolving and that the company sees room for multiple devices, with tablets becoming “just another piece of the mosaic.”
The company does confirm plans for Android tablets with 7 inch and 10.1 inch displays as well as a 10.1 inch Windows tablet. But according to the statement, there are no current plans for a tablet with a Sandy Bridge processor.
I have to say, I’m not surprised to see Acer doing damage control today. Even if the company were planning on reducing its netbook operations, Acer still has a number of recently launched models to sell. It seems like bad business to announce you’re exiting a market when you still have products to sell, since it would seem like an indication that you have little faith in your products.
But I also thought the rumors sounded a little implausible yesterday (and said so at the time). Acer has been one of the strongest players in the netbook space and it doesn’t make sense for the company to pull out when the company is still selling millions of units. At the same time it makes plenty of sense for Acer to enter the tablet market, as it appears to be a fast-growing segment of the personal computer space. But you don’t have to exit one market to enter another. Companies entering the tablet space are hoping to sell more products this year than last, not simply to replace existing products with new ones.
That’s good. The only tablets I’d use would easily cost too much for me. Since most of these tablets are targeted to be inexpensive, they’d likely not have features that would make them more useful than netbooks, at least for my purposes.
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