Acer makes move with tablets, big-screen smartphone and app store

Nov 24, 2010
Tech

A new player has entered the tablet derby: Acer (2353.TW). The Taiwan company had been emphasizing netbooks, but has seen that market shrink as tablets caught fire. Acer will be introducing several tablets in 2011 into an increasingly crowded field dominated by Apple (AAPL) and its iPad, along with entries from Samsung (005930.KS), Research In […]

A new player has entered the tablet derby: Acer (2353.TW).

The Taiwan company had been emphasizing netbooks, but has seen that market shrink as tablets caught fire.

Acer will be introducing several tablets in 2011 into an increasingly crowded field dominated by Apple (AAPL) and its iPad, along with entries from Samsung (005930.KS), Research In Motion (RIMM), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and others.

In announcing its tab plans in a New York City press conference, Acer noted that nearly 19 million tabs will have been sold in 2010 with projections of 55 million units in 2011 and 208 million in 2014.

Acer said: “Mobility, which has always been part of Acer’s DNA, finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer, which feature various display sizes and models designed to fit different kinds of usage scenarios.”

Acer plans to offer 10.1 and 7-inch touchscreens using Google’s (GOOG) Android OS. The tablets will be available in Wi-Fi and 3G versions, and are due to ship in April. No price has been announced yet.

Electronista described the tablets as being higher-end than the current tablets with high resolution screens. The 10-inch device will have a 5.0 megapixel back camera and HD-capable front camera.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has ridiculed the 7-inch format. Electronista said Acer sidestepped the criticism and said that 7-inch screens are good for e-books.

Darren Murph of Engadget said that the Acer news is, “shocker of shockers… With the holidays too close for comfort, the outfit’s giving everyone pause that was considering that janky Android tablet on sale for Black Friday.”

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Acer showed off its Windows 7-based Iconia tab, too.

Acer also announced it is introducing a 4.8-inch Android smartphone with a 1024×480 display, extending its line to a device positioned between smaller smartphones and tablets. Acer described this device as “100% smartphone, 100% tablet,” being good for browsing as well as watching movies. The slightly curved device is due out in April.

Acer is planning an app store with the “Alive” delivery system. HotHardware described this as a “souped-up app store.” The store will have a social component through which users can share their favorites and see what friends recommend.

Alive, which rolls out in 2011, will have apps from a variety of developers as well as portals for music and audiobooks, TV, e-books and games.

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