Is the iPad diverting that many sales away from regular notebooks? According to Best Buy, definitely. Listening to Intel, not so much. A third party has now weighed in on the issue: Acer chairman JT Wang, whom DigiTimes quotes as saying the "competitive impact of iPad upon notebooks is not as serious as many people have imagined."
The way Wang sees it, slates in general will create a new market without displacing existing ones. The executive says demand for netbooks in particular has remained stable outside of the U.S. and United Kingdom, and folks who own iPads are "still using traditional notebooks for document or chart processing." Wang went on to pin Acer’s shrinking U.S. market share on its unwillingness to partake in a recent price war.
Now, that’s not to say Acer doesn’t have some slates of its own in the works. Wang didn’t express any urgency, however, stating that "many related technologies" still aren’t mature enough, and Acer is "not in [sic] hurry to be the first to launch." Although the statement is short on details, I would guess Wang is referring at least in part to Android 3.0, which is due next year and will feature proper slate support. Google has gone on record saying the current Android release, version 2.2, isn’t ready for slate devices.