Fresh from outselling Dell in the second half of 2009, Acer now has its sights set on HP. The folks at Bloomberg have sat down with Acer IT Products President Jim Wong and gotten a feel for how his firm plans to leapfrog the world's biggest PC vendor.
Acer's strategy spans a volley of different products and services: Chrome OS-based netbooks due in the third quarter, an e-book reader coming in the middle of the year, an Apple-like app store with "hundreds" of applications, and even a tablet device modeled after the hotly anticipated Apple tablet. Acer may attempt to get bigger footholds in the Chinese and Japanese markets by acquiring local PC makers, as well. (Acer similarly increased its presence in the U.S. and Europe by bagging Gateway and Packard-Bell a couple of years ago.)
Wong told Bloomberg that "at least 10 percent" of Acer netbooks will feature Chrome OS after the first such system debuts in the third quarter of this year. The executive added, "For Chrome, we're aggressively pursuing to become one of the first, so there's a change to the Microsoft-Intel environment." That statement suggests some machines might actually be smartbooks with ARM processors, although Wong didn't elaborate on the subject.
In any case, those new, dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processors certainly look fast enough for web browsing in a full Linux desktop, and they might deliver better battery life than Intel's Atom processors. Nvidia's next-generation Tegra has a couple of 1GHz Cortex A9 cores inside.
As for the tablet system, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang told Bloomberg in another interview that the Apple device "will provide inspiration for Acer's own product lineup." Wang says his company will go with either Windows or Google operating systems. HP, too, has a tablet up its sleeve; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showcased it running Windows 7 earlier this month.
All things considered, Wang expects Acer to start outselling HP by 2013. That prediction goes along with the expectations of Acer founder Stan Shih, who recently predicted the demise of U.S.-based PC vendors within the next couple of decades. (Thanks to CrunchGear for the link.)