Ruth Rosene a spokeswoman for Taiwanese computer maker Acer, Inc. wrote us this afternoon to tell us, “Acer [is] NOT phasing out netbooks in favor of tablets.”
Apparently the rumor that the company would be dumping its popular netbooks amid slowing sales and increased tablet interest is a bit removed from reality. She writes, “Acer… [patently denies] recent rumors the company will be phasing out netbooks in favor of tablets.”
In an attached press release, the company writes:
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 recognizes that the computer market is changing. As PCs are no longer only used to create content but are more and more becoming consumption tools, new devices and new form factors are appearing.
This means the range of devices available to users is getting wider and tablets are just another piece of the mosaic. Therefore, they will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks.
The company is preparing to launch three tablet computers this spring. The first model — a Windows tablet — will launch in February 2011. The Windows 7 tablet will measure 10.1-inches and pack a powerful AMD Brazos GPU/CPU SoC and a pair of 1.3 MP cameras (perfect for taking 3D images, hint, hint).
The Windows tablet will be followed in April by a pair of Androids — one measuring 10.1-inches (the “Iconia A500”) and the other measuring 7 inches. Both will feature 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, pack screen resolutions of 1280×800 pixels, and come with Dolby speakers. The 10-inch model will also include an LTE wireless modem. The smaller tablet packs an HD-resolution front-facing camera (for Skype messaging, etc.). The larger tablet reportedly is powered by NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 SoC; the 7-inch tablet may be as well. Both are likely running the tablet-friendly upcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Acer, maker of the best-selling Aspire One netbook, currently sits in third place in global PC shipments, behind HP and Dell, and just ahead of Lenovo and Toshiba (Apple is not on the list in terms of global shipments). The company owns the Gateway brand, which continues to do respectable sales volume in the U.S. In the U.S. Acer outsells Toshiba, but is behind HP and Dell. It was recently bumped to fourth place by Apple, which sits in third place in U.S. sales.
The company has recently showed off dual-screen tablet prototypes and a 4.8-inch Android smartphone prototype.
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