Acer has no plans for an iPad competitor, after all

A week ago, we talked about Acer’s plan to become top dog in the PC market—a plan that included, among other things, a tablet device modeled after Apple’s iPad. It looks like the plan has changed, though. DigiTimes now quotes Acer Taiwan President Scott Lin as saying his company has no intention to offer such a product.

Acer has the necessary technical know-how, Lin claims, but an iPad-like device "does not fit into Acer’s business model." The executive added that, much like many other hardware vendors, Acer lacks an offering comparable to the iTunes Store. That could indeed pose a problem. Apple will offer not just music, shows, movies, and books to iPad users, but also a wealth of applications originally designed for the iPhone and iPod touch.

While Acer is getting cold feet, DigiTimes has learned from industry sources that Asus and MSI haven’t given up yet. The two firms have nonetheless "re-evaluated their strategies" after finding out that the iPad will start at $499, not $1,000 as rumored. Translation: Asus and MSI may now have to aim well below $499 in order to attract customers.

Asus recently confirmed the Eee Pad, a tablet device that will also feature an ARM processor, 3G connectivity, and video playback support. The rumor mill hints that the contraption will feature an Nvidia Tegra system-on-a-chip and launch in June.

Comments closed
    • paulWTAMU
    • 13 years ago

    jumping off a bridge into a nice cushiony pile of cash? why not?

    • XaiaX
    • 13 years ago

    Given the fat stacks of cash money they’re raking in, dismissing the strategy out of hand seems dumber.

    You can argue functionality and missing features all you want. Jobs will be crying himself to sleep over your comments, in his giant pile of money.

    • mcnabney
    • 13 years ago

    Someone just release the G-D Courier.
    Closes like a book, to be compact and protected.
    Dual screen
    high resolution
    touch and stylus (for handwriting and precision)
    Non-Windows UI

    • Sewje
    • 13 years ago

    Acer is clever in not following a dumb idea.
    Apple jumps of a bridge, would you want to follow?

    • Lans
    • 13 years ago

    Well, I used an HP 12″ tablet/touch screen notebook (ultra-portable notebook with touch screen) before (a couple times; not mine) with hand writing recognition and it was pretty good (after getting a bit used to it) for web-browsing, word documents, and video. And it ran Vista. Now for a cheaper/less powerful notebook/netbook in tablet form factor, Vista will be an issue but XP or Win7 works fine on netbooks. Is mainly driver and software for the touch screen as an input device.

    I personally think writing on stylus pen on touch screen will knock the iPad out of the park. Software wise, I don’t Apple has a complete lock on things! :-p

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    I’m actually responding to you on a tablet only using the touchscreen. Understand that I actually used it before typing that this morning. The biggest proplem is people trying to use windows 7 like they would on their desktop. If a person does that it will be horrible. It takes a little bit of gretting used to and retraining. That is a benifit to using a limiting device, or the difference between jack of all trades (usable) vs specialized (easily usable).

    He doesn’t seem to have multitouch. No 2 finger scroll or acceleration scrolling from the looks of it. He also doesn’t 2 finger right tap.

    edit
    The hardest part of using a tablet pc is either on the internet, blasted tiny next page/number buttons, or resizing explorer panes. Resizing windows is much easier in 7 vs Vista because of snap, not the right size drag (or of course double click) the window.

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago
    • aatu
    • 13 years ago

    I think too many people are betting too much on this AppleStore (or whatever it’s named). Sure, you have a big collection of applications, but how many is really going to buy them on iPad. I can understand buying apps for iPhone or iTouch, because with a locked down system and small screen you really need customized apps. But with a bigger screen, you can usually find suitable (or better) alternative from www, and usually for free. Furthermore, there are only few must-have “core” applications, which are already available even on ARM flavor (IM, email, media player, and so on). Additionally, now the other manufacturers can fire back with features that Apple for some reason decided to do without (proper USB, webcam, SD, etc.)

    In other words, if the manufacturers ensure better web compatibility (flash, mainly) and smarter feature set, they have quite a good shot at the tablet market.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    It’s perfect for a b[

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    Exactly. and Pine Trail is already pretty good to the task on hand.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 13 years ago

    Their netbookd would cannibalize the tablet sales

    • NeelyCam
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • imtheunknown176
    • 13 years ago

    Acer, give me the equivalent of my AS1410 with maybe a dual core CULV processor in tablet form for $600. That should be a winner but Jobs’s RDF will likely keep it from being successful.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t know, I just want more options, lol.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    All I was trying to say was windows 7 is usable with a finger, and it blew up, lol (who cares if we still disagree). I think a place exist for the ipad, and I don’t think it’s over priced. You are right, people who buy it should pay attention to what it can do for them, before purchasing. They should expect media consumption for this device and not tons of input. I want e-textbooks and if this opens that catagory up more, I’ll be happy.

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    Because, believe it or not, most people’s computing needs consist of limited web browsing, IM, e-mail, and media consumption, with occasional time wasting games that would commonly be flash/browser based games. If you can make a device thats .5″ thick, gets 10 hours of battery life, is decently priced, and does all of those needs, why would you ever consider something bigger, heavier, less battery life, and not designed from the ground up to do this?
    Even netbooks meet most peoples needs. You don’t need a Corei7 to do the above listed tasks. Software has not yet caught up to the hardware. Theres no killer app thats extremely CPU intensive (other than Flash video, but thats not because its really CPU intensive, its because Flash is coded like crap).

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    It will be interesting to see if the tablet market goes to simple devices or more capable ones.

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    That’s fair. I love my iPhone, and don’t need MUCH more than it offers for 95% of my computing needs at home. The one big thing I wanted was… a larger screen + resolution so you can properly browse the web. #2 would be some semblance of multi-tasking out of the box. I feel that if they limited the number of programs running at once, or made some kind of ‘background mode’ where nothing but the core of the app runs and put a restriction on the amount of CPU and memory a backgrounded app could use, that it would work out fine.

    I understand why there isn’t multi-tasking built in. I’m sure they haven’t yet found an elegant solution to users opening up 25 apps, and then complaining that the device is sluggish and slow.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    Actually, I don’t mind the ipad, but I am pointing out that it’s possible to use windows 7 on one finger.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    Ehh, were on 2 different pages. Don’t get stuck on 1024×786, because that’s not the only resolution that windows pc’s are going to use. Second I’m a convertable fan more than a slate. You act as though slates only have atom processors, which is false, and have poor battery life fase again. You put windows tablet pcs in the same catagory as the IPAD and it’s not the same. The hardware nor the software won’t even be remotely similar. When it comes to windows you will get options of different hardware (yes you’ll pay for it, but I like one device anways). It’s difficult to compare both the IPAD and Tablet PC because they are designed with different outlooks. So I don’t mind people getting IPAD’s but it won’t be good enough for me. Your comparing similar sizes and specs, I’m comparing the entire tablet pc catagory (ops and lol).

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    This. I’m not an Apple Fanboy, and I criticize them when needed, but people that aren’t going to buy their product anyway feel that they need to tell the world what Apple SHOULD have done. Apple makes the products it wants to make. People buy them and enjoy them. If you don’t like them, fine. Don’t buy them. Even if it did EVERYTHING you wanted, you still would find another reason to not like it and talk smack. Its too much money, its too easy to use, my favorite Windows application doesn’t work on it, it won’t make me coffee in the morning.

    If you don’t want it, don’t buy it, but don’t be so blind as to think YOUR desires for a device are the only ones out there. Take a look at what you said. You don’t want to enter text with a touch screen. You also don’t want to run more than a few specialized apps. You want the ability to plug in everything else. Sounds like you want a CULV laptop with a convertible touch screen. Great. Thats fine. But thats not the market the iPad is trying to compete in.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    Indeed this is very hard to understand. Thanks for your consideration of my difficulties. If you have the time, perhaps we can talk about why you want the vast colossus that is Windows 7 and its friend the Atom processor if you intend only to run a few select applications.

    Also perhaps you can help me understand why you would hook a keyboard and mouse to a tablet. It would just about impossible to see, laying flat. I guess you’d need a dock to hold it up. But then its only 10″ and 1024×768, sitting on the table. You might want to hook up a better screen, so that you do not develop a back injury.

    After all of this, you would find that your underclocked Atom could in fact do nothing at a rate that wasn’t irritatingly slow. An excellent result, a victory for Windows, a victory for x86! FOR GEEKS EVERYWHERE! Down with Apple!

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    You’ve obviously already made up your mind, and thats fine. The iPad isn’t for INPUTING info really. Its for extracting info from. Its for reading, listening, watching and only typing very short amounts on the screen itself. Why else would they make an official keyboard dock for it? If you want to input large amounts of info, you’d use that, but thats not its intended purpose.

    Complaining that a Hyundai Accent doesn’t set the record at Nurburgring isn’t a fault of the Accent, its a failure to understand the market for such a product. It wasn’t designed or marketed for that, and expecting it to do that is your lack of research more so than a fault of the product itself.

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    Again, for Windows, its hard to find an app designed for a single finger touch interface, let alone one that supports multi-touch. Android or WinMo are the only real options in this area until touch screens find a real use in high resolution large screen size computing. The HP TouchSmart and Dell Touch Screen deals are fun to play with, but it doesn’t really add anything when theres a full keyboard and mouse sitting right there.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    Because it’s flexible. Shoehorned in or not it works effectively. Taking notes on a touchscreen by typing method sucks anyways. Try it, it’s difficult and diverts most of your attention to the screen rather than what your taking notes on. With a stylus I only have to look at my screen every once in a while. So out of 4 of those things it only does 3 more effectively, so far.

    Web browing on a 9.7 inch screen won’t be that bad, but it’s weakness is still the fact websites weren’t built for touch. So clicking on say things of a certain page is still going to suck.

    Since I have a stylus (active digitizer type, aka floating cursor) it helps mitigate this. I find using both the stylus and touch to be must faster than using just one or the other. On top of the fact I still have flash and can view any web page without fail, unlike the IPAD.
    That makes 2

    That makes it only better at two things battery life and a better touch gui. That means while I have all my data on one computer.

    • wira020
    • 13 years ago

    Scared of iTunes? OMG… thats like a joke… almost sounds like non-apple user doesnt have anything similar to it…

    If it’s app… android app library is growing pretty well… and if it’s windows , i’d think softpedia or downloads.cnet can provide more than anyone could have…

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    And if you’re only doing a few select programs such as media, and email and web… why not get one with more battery life, and a better UI designed for exactly that, than one thats shoehorned in.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    I know this is hard to understand, but I only use a few select programs in slate anyways. I sure the hell am not going to edit an excel websheet am I? I can do media, music (bluetooth or otherwise) I can also take notes. With a keyboard and mouse I can run any x86 application (stylus is sutible for most apps).

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    Tell me, sir, what good is Windows without software? What good is x86 when all the old programs are unsuitable for the device, anyway?

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    On a low resolutuion screen, you want as much realestate as possible, and will likely have the small icons on the taskbar. On a 9.7″ screen, small icons + fat finger = no worky well.

    • Galvnze
    • 13 years ago

    The problem here is that Apple has implied that in order to have a successful slate-computer, you need a library of apps to go on it. Acer seems to have fallen for that. Has the public? Because when I was envisioning what the Apple product was going to be, I was hoping it wasn’t going to be a “iPhone/iTouch”-like device, but rather a full-fledged computer. Then it wasn’t – epic fail, etc.

    Now the competitors think their product needs to be like an iPhone/iTouch to compete. How one-track-minded can we be? Why should a slate have a library of apps to make it good? Why can’t it stand alone and do all the other great things a computer does with the expectations that it will not be encoding video and running aggressive programs? Maybe I just want a small computer that I can browse the internet, Skype, Facebook, etc. without a heavy computer and keyboard. Maybe I don’t want to add apps to it in order to make it useful. Because it should already be useful.

    Similarly, I shouldn’t depend on a company’s 3rd-party offerings to justify why I bought the device in the first place.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    For a device that requires a touch-sensitive screen with good viewing angles and potentially a lot of custom software to provide a reasonable user experience, it might be difficult to undercut Apple. Acer didn’t bail on this because they are unable to make inexpensive hardware.

    I’m no expert, but I don’t think MS has any useful OS other than Windows 7, and that doesn’t run on on ARM, or anything resembling a tablet.

    • crsh1976
    • 13 years ago

    I still don’t get tablets, unless it’s an actual computer with a touchscreen, not an oversized walkman.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    Goes hand in hand with the story that Apple makes very controlled leaks. I’m sure they’re the ones that put that $1000 pricetag out there, just to fool with their competition. When they came out at half that, it made Asus, MSI, Acer, et. al. a little dizzy.

    • ChrisDTC
    • 13 years ago

    MSI is launching one in 2H2010

    §[<http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100128PD214.html<]§

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 13 years ago

    Umm you are wrong. Windows 7 works just fine with one finger, the applications themselves don’t (well a few do, but not very many).

    • Lans
    • 13 years ago

    Umm, iTunes runs on Windows? 🙂 Although, it seems you can use iTunes through Wine (not sure how great it works)… I suppose that still lacks all the apps for iPhone and iPod. For me though, that is none! I don’t own a iPhone or iPod and there only thing I would consider is GPS functionality (there are Windows and Linux software for that too). Everything else that I might use on a tablet, I can probably get through Google or some other source.

    So ARM or Atom doesn’t matter too much for me actually. If ARM then probably Linux only but no big deal for me and it looks like Linux gotten pretty good uptake on netbooks as well.

    Also give me multi-tasking, usb connector(s), hand writing recognition, and a lower price then I am sold (assuming the data plan prices are competitive with iPad) . Maybe for 1-upness… a display port (I think you can squeeze that in without destroy form factor).

    • Corrado
    • 13 years ago

    Windows is not designed for a single finger touch interface. That is its biggest issue. The touch screen support is meant to supplement a real keyboard and stylus/mouse. Try to use Word and bold something with your finger on a 9.7″ screen. Your finger encompasses all 3 B/I/U buttons. MS would need to create a new UI for either WinMo7 or Win7 to support this.

    This is what people are failing to realize. Theres only ONE other OS out there right now that has the possibility of competing with Apple, and thats Android. Running apps not designed for a touch interface on a tablet = teh suck.

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    I have no idea if the iPad is going to be a hit or not, but if it is… wow.

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah, if only somebody somewhere would try putting Windows on a tablet. Surely that would be a big hit!

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    Oh — you might be right. Well, I guess the former CEO isn’t in on the new plan.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    As things currently stand, I expect Apple to easily defeat any Windows competitor, especially anything running x86. It remains to be seen how Atom vs ARM turns out, but right now, I think 1ghz ARM is perfect for a tablet.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    I think Apple has pulled off a brilliant little maneuver with the ipad. They (possibly) create a market by sheer hype power, so much so that other players want to jump in, then suddenly the change the rules of the (potential) market. Its like other companies are leaves caught up the the wind generated by Apple going on by.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 13 years ago

    Luckily, they don’t need one. The iPad is its own competitor.

    • Voldenuit
    • 13 years ago

    Wasn’t it an ex-exec of Acer who said that, not the current CEO?

    • Farting Bob
    • 13 years ago

    Sure they dont have the itunes store to back them up, but if they put windows on it it’ll sell very well.

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    wait, wasn’t this the guy who was going to take over the world last week and drive all US computer makers out of business? Dude, if you can’t compete with an aging hipster with a big iPod Touch, I think you may have over-reached.

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