updated 11:10 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2010
Acer insists netbooks stable in face of iPad
Acer Taiwan's president Scott Lin today insisted at a press conference that netbooks would survive in the face of tablets like the iPad despite signs to the contrary. He believed the dual-core Atom N550 would keep the category going as it gave about 50 percent more performance without hiking the cost, giving users a reason to pick one over a tablet. About 40 million netbooks would ship in 2010, or about 20 percent of the entire notebook arena, Lim told Digitimes and others at the event.
The executive was still cautious about the future and didn't see netbooks gaining any share in 2011, although Acer might still reap benefits as Dell and HP weren't pushing as hard for sales as before. Only ASUS would be poised to claim the most of what would be left.
Lim's comments were contradicted the same day by reports from the same region. PC builders and resellers are allegedly dropping prices in direct reaction to Apple's tablet. Acer's Android and Windows dual-booting netbook, the Aspire One D255, has dropped to the equivalent of $288. A 10-inch Lenovo IdeaPad now costs $317, while a barebones ASUS 10-inch Eee PC has dropped to $282. Few systems that aren't completely new cost more than $320, retailers said.
They also disputed Acer's faith in the Atom N550, as many of the companies weren't actively promoting the faster chip.
Signs have emerged so far elsewhere in the world that largely run against Lim's beliefs. Best Buy just this week noted that netbook sales dropped by nearly half after the iPad took hold at its stores and is planning to expand sales to all its chains. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has also said that growth has reversed in the US coinciding roughly with the April debut of the Apple slate.