Acer says no to iPad-alike tablet
Focusing on netbooks, notebooks
An Acer executive has contradicted one of his colleagues and claimed the company will not follow Apple into the multimedia web tablet arena.
Acer Taiwan chief Scott Lin said the company has no plans to launch a gadget along the lines of Apple's iPad.
But last week, Jim Wong, head of Acer’s IT products division, said the company was working on a tablet which, he admitted, will likely be similar to the iPad, though at that point in time, Apple had not yet made its announcement.
Such a product doesn't fit the Acer's approach to business, Lin said, according to DigiTimes. His gist is that Acer isn't interested in emulating Apple's high level of vertical integration: designing the hardware, the software and and the services that the device taps into.
Such an attitude is no surprise given Acer's roots as a PC OEM churning out kit for other people, an approach firmly rooted in the notion of focusing on one thing - hardware, in this case - and leaving the other bits to other suppliers.
The trouble is, that's not a margin-friendly business methodology, which is why many in the PC industry are increasingly looking to markets like, for example, the smartphone arena where there's still a lot of scope for differentiation and so higher prices and better margins.
Not Acer, though. Lin said the company will focus on skinny notebooks this year. He said he doesn't believe the iPad will hit the netbook market hard, arguing that the two types of devices are aimed at different groups of consumer. We can't see we're convinced of that. ®
From a hardware point of view, there is nothing much to it. The success of iPad could come with the software applications - those already provided by Apple and of course Apple App store.
As for alternatives, Android can not be ported (at least with the support of Google) to that sort of devices / scree size. There is no point of having Microsoft or other "notebook" OS (ubuntu...) as there will be very little selling point (that would really end up being a notebook/netbook without keyboard!)
The only possibility is Google Chrome OS - complete with the applications that can make such a device a success. But we will have to wait until the end of the year.
Android would be my choice. Sure it would need a "skin" but HTC managed it with their phones, can't see it being too much of a problem...
Acer's core business?
Problem is Acer is not in the OS business. What would they put on it? Android? Chrome OS, Windows Mobile? Or maybe whatever Microsoft is touting as a tablet OS at the moment?
The Windows solutions won't give it the same WOW as the iPad (at least to fanbois), and Android or Chrome OS will probably need some some development by Acer to make it attractive to customers.
I would actually like to see a device like the iPad running WebOS, but I doubt that Palm have the spare cash to develop such a thing. Tablet, pen/touch integration, Multi-tasking, a long history of developer-friendly application environments. I believe that it would be more usable than what we have been told the iPad will deliver. Still, we can dream.
I'm pretty disappointed at this. I was hoping there'd be a whole new market of these slates this year to rival the iPad. Acer's offer would be sure to be a decent price too, like their laptops.