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China Hardware

Acer Rethinks the "Tablet Bubble," Launching $99 Tablet 243

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the 3-2-1-*pop* dept.
retroworks writes "In August 2011, Acer Chairman JT Wang declared that the consumer affection for tablets had already begun to cool, basically labeling it a fad. What a difference a year (and a half) makes. Acer now plans to introduce a 'category killer' $99 tablet. 'In the past few months, we've made project roadmap changes in response to big changes in the tablet market,' according to a source at the Wall Street Journal. 'The launch of the Nexus 10 has changed the outlook for what makes competitive pricing.' Acer is aiming the new tablet at emerging markets, competing with Chinese 'white box' tablets (already available in Shenzhen at $45 each)."
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Acer Rethinks the "Tablet Bubble," Launching $99 Tablet

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  • by chithanh (1921670) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:05AM (#42386411)
    I would rather claim the reverse. Tablet sales are displacing sales of "more capable machines" at an astonishing rate. A $45 tablet already fulfills the computing needs of a whole lot of people, why should they spend more on a PC? Those high-priced PCs will be relegated to the niche of users who require functions that a tablet or smartphone cannot provide.
  • Nice! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:34AM (#42386469)

    These could actually make food testing devices for developers who want to ensure decent performance on cheaper devices (e.g., the no-name stuff that's sold at supermarkets).

  • by bazorg (911295) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:36AM (#42386479) Homepage

    I don't see how tablets are any different from netbooks.

    I see tablets as sufficiently different from PCs to be worthwhile for people who dislike and/or are not interested in having a PC. Netbooks were an attempt to have the usual applications available in a small and cheap machine with the usual x86 standards components.

    Since tablets and smartphones are seen as sufficiently separate and different from PCs, different sales strategies and products were tried and have been very successful. By uncovering a brand new market space, made up of people who accept subscription pricing and pay as you go for "apps" and related services, many companies are selling stuff that just was not practical to sell to PC users.

  • by Kergan (780543) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:37AM (#42386491)

    I don't see how tablets are any different from netbooks. They're semi-useful devices that have a limited place but are outclassed by more capable machines which have been around for a long time.

    I think you don't get it. I'm admittedly no typical user, but I've the honest impression that I wouldn't need my laptop at all if I weren't programming. For the past two years, I've been doing everything else from a tablet, with the added bonus of being able to do so from a comfortable couch, a hammock, a beach club, wherever -- and without the need for a surface to sit the device on.

    Do I periodically wish there were massive games like Civ 5? Sure, but they'll get there eventually. In the meanwhile, I can no longer be bothered to sit at a desk (and develop carpal tunnel) to play a video game.

    In light of how tablets are selling, I trust I'm not alone with this impression. Only future will tell, obviously, but methinks the hey days of laptops and desktops in households are behind us.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @07:43AM (#42386509)

    Get your china-cheap tablet today, for $99.99, and tomorrow, get anotehr for $99.99 !!. Why so cheap ?? Because tomorrow you WILL need to buy another !!

    Interesting the reverse is true. the iPad the most expensive device on the market six times more expensive than a better value tablet elsewhere, yet comes with proprietary software, hardware, with a shrinking market share...and no expandable storage. I object to that built in obsolescence, but ironically it only happens on overpriced electronics. Its [one of the many] why I think Apple is unhealthy right now, and Android is doing so incredibly well.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:02AM (#42386559)

    would be those that run Linux instead of Android. Archos tablets support Angstrom Linux, but it would be better if one of the bigger OEMs such as Acer were o offer Linux tablets. Many more use cases and usage senarios would be possible then.

    Microsoft successfully derailed Linux on the netbooks, and killed meego by killing Nokia; costing them Billions. Microsoft have been incredibly successful in not letting GNU/Linux win. Its kind of sad as all that has happened is they have been made irrelevant by the "pack of four".

    The reality is GNU/Linux [if I can call that today], will survive, due to its open nature. I'm personally looking forward to running Android applications on my new touchscreen Chromebook running Debian [one of its derivatives].

  • Ya no kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:26AM (#42386619)

    I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten a tablet for any kinds of real reason other than a toy. Now that's fine, nothing wrong with toys, but everyone I know who has gotten a tablet already has a laptop and smartphone, and they've kept the laptop and smartphone after getting it, and kept using them.

    Those would be what tablets would replace. The argument seems to be that you don't need a laptop, a tablet will do fine, so you get one instead of your laptop. Another argument could be that a laptop isn't portable enough but a tablet is, so you can take it with you and thus don't need a smart phone, just a regular one.

    However in actual practice, nobody seems to do that. They have a laptop and a tablet, and a smartphone.

    I'm still not convinced tablets are here to stay. They seem to be fancy toys and status symbols right now (really there's an iPad market, not a tablet market) and little in the way of actual use. I could well see them dying off and people continuing to use laptops and smartphones.

    That's why I don't have one: I asked myself where I would use a tablet that I wouldn't rather use my laptop or smartphone and I can't come up with an answer. I don't want it enough just as a toy.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:28AM (#42386627) Journal

    Where did you post this message from?

  • Re:Ya no kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:53AM (#42386695)

    I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten a tablet for any kinds of real reason other than a toy. Now that's fine, nothing wrong with toys, but everyone I know who has gotten a tablet already has a laptop and smartphone, and they've kept the laptop and smartphone after getting it, and kept using them.

    Those would be what tablets would replace. The argument seems to be that you don't need a laptop, a tablet will do fine, so you get one instead of your laptop. Another argument could be that a laptop isn't portable enough but a tablet is, so you can take it with you and thus don't need a smart phone, just a regular one.

    However in actual practice, nobody seems to do that. They have a laptop and a tablet, and a smartphone.

    I'm still not convinced tablets are here to stay. They seem to be fancy toys and status symbols right now (really there's an iPad market, not a tablet market) and little in the way of actual use. I could well see them dying off and people continuing to use laptops and smartphones.

    That's why I don't have one: I asked myself where I would use a tablet that I wouldn't rather use my laptop or smartphone and I can't come up with an answer. I don't want it enough just as a toy.

    Well, if it's a toy, it has to be just about my favorite toy. I'd rather have a tablet than a laptop myself - for "real" mouse/typing work I want a desktop with a keyboard that isn't little mushed things that I have to reach over a fat "sand bar" to get at while broadcasting false mouse events as my hands pass over the touchpad.

    The advantage of the tablet is that it can wander around with me easily (I have a 7-inch unit). It's what I use when I want computer resources without the rituals. I don't have to wander into the computer room, wake up a machine, sit down and assume the position. I can just pick up the tablet, unlock it and go. Literally go, since you can wander around with it in one hand - a bit of a challenge with a laptop.

    I primarily use the tablet to access data, not to input it. So I use it as an e-reader (much easier on the eyes than a desk/laptop display), email reader, RSS reader, Wikipedia/google/recipe database lookup-and-display, stuff like that where I can tap in at a whim. I CAN do short email replies and so forth, but like I said, the operative word here is "reader". It does do streaming multi-media pretty well in take-along form also.

    There's still a place in my life for the desktop (heavy-duty input) and my phone (fits-in-the-pocket), but an awful lot of what I do is a good match for the tablet. Add the current low prices and the ability to store it in a small convenient space like shelving a book, and it's hard to resist.

  • Re:Ya no kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @08:55AM (#42386705) Homepage

    I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten a tablet for any kinds of real reason other than a toy.

    Thereby demonstrating the fallacy of generalizing from your experience to the rest of the world. You can't possibly know more than an invisibly small fraction (one in millions or tens of millions) of all tablet owners well enough to know for absolute certainty they don't use them as anything but toys.
     

    However in actual practice, nobody seems to do that. They have a laptop and a tablet, and a smartphone.

    That's the grandparent's point - rather than one big desktop computer, people now own a range of computing devices the same way they own a range of screwdrivers or a range of kitchen/chef's knifes. Different tools for different uses.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @09:46AM (#42386855)

    While Intel and Microsoft may have crippled what is a great portable form factor, I personally loved my netbook. Granted, I doubled the RAM and installed LinuxMint (thus making the unit useable.) My little cheap gateway lived under the seat of my truck, used to access the interwebs from the road, and as a tool, typing up invoices, ordering parts, and as a high quality vehicle diagnostic tool. I personally liked that setup better than a more capable and higher speced 14 inch lenovo laptop. The netbook had a better battery life, and didnt take up as much room in an already cramped cab. And really, not everyone needs a system with HDMI, touchscreen, or the latest and greatest battery draining processor. Sometimes just enough is more than enough. (BTW, you can still get the same, slightly updated Gateway LT netbook at walmart for about $200. for what i was using it for, one hell of a steal)

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