ICONIA: Acer launches its own Android Tablet and Smartphone
Acer Inc., the world’s second- largest computer maker, is hoping into the Android bandwagon. The company has officially unveiled its lineup of three new tablet devices in a bid to overthrow Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
The first two tablets, a 7 inch and a 10.1 inch display device, will be running under Google Inc.’s Android platform. A similar 10.1 inch display device will be manufactured under Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Operating software.
According to a Taipei based Acer spokesman, the unnamed tablets come in a vividly crystal clear 1280×800 screen resolution and 1080p HDMI capacity. The tablet also includes a built-in 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and a 5MP dual facing camera.
“The debut highlights Acer’s official entry into the tablet computer market,” said Angela Hsiang, an analyst for KGI Securities Co. in Taipei. She points out that the new tablet computers may appeal to price-sensitive consumers. “The 9.7 inch iPad costs around $499 to $829, consumers looking for cheaper devices may be attracted to other tablets below $400,” Hsiang said in a telephone interview.
Hsiang, however, was quick to explain that it will take some time before the tablet devices can significantly contribute to Acer’s revenue. Jim Wong, Acer’s head of information-technology products agreed, saying “This is a market that’s still not fully known, not fully satisfied.” But he kept an optimistic tone noting that the company expects 40 million to 50 million tablets to be shipped out in April 2011.
Acer, which also makes mobile phones, also launched their 4.8 inch screen hybrid smartphone/ tablet device based on Google’s Android OS. The unnamed device, which the company calls a phone with the “soul of a tablet”. sports a eye-popping 1024×480 screen resolution, a 21:9 aspect ratio, a ridiculously 8MP high camera with an LED Flash, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and a Gyroscope/accelerometer combo. The smartphone, which is similar to Dell Streak, will also be out in April 2011.
According to Strategy Analytics, Acer enters the tablet market — a field dominated by Apple, with the intention to snag about 10 percent of the market for tablets that bridge the gap between laptops and smartphones such as Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone.
Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielson Co., welcomed the announcement. “It’s a wide-open market and an opportunity for Acer to make itself better known to a North American market,” said Entner.
During the press release, the company did not reveal which version each devices will run, but that its banking with Android is enough to entice consumers. After all, applications will be what defines the utility of such a tablet.
The company also took the opportunity to introduced its sleek ICONIA, a hybrid laptop/tablet with a dual-screen running Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS. The ICONIA is a touch-based keyboard and gesture control device. It includes a 4 GB of RAM, two 14-inch multitouch displays, and an Intel Core i5 CPU.
After the announcement, Acer’s market share rose to 0.5 percent to NT$90.20 at 11:54 a.m. on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The stock has lost 6.1 percent this year, compared with a 1.5 percent gain by the benchmark Taiex index.