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Acer: ultrabooks to merge with netbooks in under two years

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wang is a lunatic

    He keeps talking on this subject and mentioning netbooks. It looks like netbooks are DEAD OA. They are slow and not good for much in the way of production. They look nice and are cheap, but apparently, NO ONE wants them, except, Mr. Wang--who probably doesn't even have one!

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Acer's worst iPad nightmare

    Re: "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."

    No kidding. That's a pretty narrow $300 gap between Kindle Fire and the base iPad. Not much wiggle room for wannabe iPads.

    And that $300 gap requires Apple to keep selling all models of iPad for $499 or more. I'd bet a dollar that Apple will drop the price of the base model 2011 iPad 2 to $399 when the 2012 iPad model is released. Suddenly there's only a $200 gap between Kindle Fire and the base model iPad 2.

    Could Apple really sell the low-end iPad 2 for $399? Only Apple knows right now. But it seems like a pretty good bet.

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It looks like netbooks are DEAD OA.

    Do you even know what you are talking about? How can something be dead OA despite being out for almost four years and selling like hotcakes? Between ASUS, Dell, Acer and Lenova, millions and millions of netbooks have been sold. It wasn't until the tablets and ultrabooks hit the market that their exponential growth finally started to decline and bottom out.

    And the funny thing is that I'm typing this on... a netbook! :-)

  1. chas_m



    I think what BobFozz meant ...

    ... is that Wang is (ultimately) right about the merging. "Netbooks" still sell well in developing countries and among the very poor, but ultrabooks are set to surpass them and I think we'll eventually see "ultranetbooks" that are thin but slightly larger than today's netbooks and a little more capable (but not as good as the Air) for around that $500 price point.

    Netbooks are fine for basic stuff, but consumers tend to outgrow them pretty quickly (and let's face it, most of them are barely-functional, flimsy pieces o' c***). Tablets will continue to eat their lunch until the mini-ultrabooks take over.

  1. SillyPooh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I was going to use sarcasm but apparently not everyone agrees with this. It's pretty obvious, as far as Acer is concerned. Netbooks are only limited in capabilities today. In under 2 years, small laptops will have the capabilities of today's laptops. And since they're going gangbusters on the MBA form factor, that statement is pretty much duh-knock-on-your-head.

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