updated 07:35 pm EST, Wed February 1, 2012
Acer chairman sees core unity in notebooks
Acer chairman JT Wang made more comments at his company's Lunar New Year event that outlined more of how Acer planned to survive Apple and the computer market. He made the prediction that ultrabooks and netbooks would fold into a single category within the next 18 to 24 months. Digitimes didn't glean how this would happen, although the company had predicted $499 ultrabooks by 2013 that would leave little gap between the two.
Its shorter term strategy already had it going to between $699 to $799 as soon as the summer. Netbooks would still survive through the developing world and help Acer keep its 45 percent share of the category, Wang added, although he acknowledged there would be a decline once ultrabooks got close.
The company executive didn't anticipate a major rethink of tablet pricing. With Apple controlling the high-end through the iPad and Amazon the low-end through the Kindle Fire, Acer would carve out the mid-range of about $299 to $499, he said. About 10 to 20 million tablets could ship in that category, presumably per year.
Acer has mostly reversed its attitude in the past two years. It has stopped competing solely on price like many Windows PC builders. Accordingly, Acer now takes tablets like the iPad seriously where it had dismissed them until their damage to Acer's sales was impossible to ignore.
Taking the mid-range space may still be difficult, since most Android-based tablet competitors that have tried to operate in that space have only been modestly successful. Most attribute the Kindle Fire's rampant early success to a $199 price that created so wide a gap that customers weren't usually tempted to buy an iPad instead.