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Acer insists fondleslab 'fever' is fading

It would say that, wouldn't it?

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Acer has once again claimed that punters are turning back to notebooks, tempted by the likes of Windows 8 and the ultra-skinny machines chip maker Intel calls "ultrabooks".

The PC giant is seeking to spin this as a sign that consumer interest in tablets is waning.

Yes, tablet fever is cooling down, Acer chairman JT Wang is reported by DigiTimes to have said.

Does he have a point? Wang's comments followed Acer's announcement of a loss-making second quarter - a three-month period that saw the launch, at long last, of Acer's own forays into the fondleslab world. They have not set the market aflame.

And that's really what Acer's forecast is actually about, rather than the state of the tablet market, we think.

DigiTimes notes that some other companies agree with Wang - but they're all firms having a hard time persuading punters to pick their mosly 'me too' offerings, like kids blaming their own lack of skill on a 'rubbish game'.

As for their competitors, Apple is certainly selling as many of the machines as it can make, and we don't hear Asus grumbling that no one wants its Eee Pad Transformer any longer.

Lenovo is pushing ahead with its ThinkPad tablets.

Yes, HP has, for now, pulled out of the market, but that's as much a result of its decision to focus away from the currently weak consumer market as anything else.

Only this week, market watcher In-Stat forecast tablet sales would continue to grow, hitting 250m units by 2017. iHS iSuppli reckons that total will be hit in 2015.

Android and Apple's iOS will dominate the market with a combined 90 per cent share, In-Stat said. Windows will have less than ten per cent of the total.

Windows 8 should have shipped by then, but it's not here yet, so it's unlikely, pace Acer, to be factoring in comsumers' buying decisions just yet.

Ditto ultrabooks, which are few and far between unless you include Apple's MacBook Air, which we're sure Acer doesn't. The Jobs Mob has done enough harm, thank you very much.

Whatever, ultrabooks and Windows 8 aren't going to help Acer and hinder Apple - if either of them do - until 2012.

Well, that's only two more quarters for Acer to complain about consumers falling out of love with fondleslabs... ®

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