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Portables Handhelds Windows Technology Hardware

Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble 692

Posted by timothy
from the that-seems-hard-to-believe dept.
retroworks writes "According to a story in Digitimes, Acer chairman JT Wang is predicting the end of 'tablet fever.' 'Commenting on tablet PC's impact on the notebook industry, [Acer chairman JT Wang] pointed out that tablet PC fever is already starting to cool down and consumers are also being attracted by notebooks again with Intel's Ultrabooks and Microsoft's Windows 8 the major attractions.' Back to the old model then... PC and laptop sales, driven by Windows upgrades?"
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Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble

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  • iPad fever? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mveloso (325617) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:08PM (#37213854)

    Is he talking about iPad fever or lame tablet/netbook fever?

    If the former, he can wait until Apple's next quarterly results. If the latter, well, he's probably right. Maybe he's talking from his own sales numbers?

  • by Bagels (676159) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:09PM (#37213866)
    The continued popularity of the iPad (and decent success enjoyed by Asus and Samsung with their respective Android tablets) would tend to put the lie to this claim. Acer's own entry into the tablet race was by all accounts a bit crap, so this sounds like some serious sour grapes to me. Also, I haven't heard from anybody in the real world who's excited about these 'ultrabooks' ; they sound like a sad marketing scheme from Intel, along the lines of their old 'Viiv' branding.
    • People are going to buy what works for them. The over-40 crowd at my last company loved ipads for traveling. The fact that a cheaper laptop could do all the same things and much more was irrelevant. The ipad had their two killer apps. Email and surfing. And it's dead-simple. Press a button and it's on instantly. Press an icon and email's running. Press the first button again and it's off. No startup. No 30 second grind for Outlook to fire up and get its bearings. No shutdown. Don't even have to

  • I think you will end up seeing more tablets with the power of a pc. I'm talking units like Asus' eee slate 121. We are moving some of our sales reps to these as they provide a full computer while also allowing for more sleek presentations. Im personally waiting on the second gen as it will have an i5 v2 in it verses the current which is i5 v1

    • Re:partially right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:56PM (#37214294)

      The thing is convertaibles have been around for a decade.

      it took apple to show the world that tablets had to have a different GUI from desktop computer. MSFT has been making tablet based OS's for a decade directly, however only a couple of dedicated touch applications where ever created for it, with Office being one of the big one.

      when apple shipped the ipad it included a stripped down(and broken depending on your view) version of their office applications. straight out of the box. The email client gui was re written to take advantage of touch interfaces, unlike outlook which is still the same(with a shiny new ribbon)

      tablets may become more powerful, but the interface requires them to have simplier UI's. Just like cars engines might get more powerful but you still control it with pedals and a wheel.

      We are entering computation age where raw power isn't needed. directed computation power is. for those like you stuck in the past you will struggle with this change.

  • A new segment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Albanach (527650) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:15PM (#37213926) Homepage

    While manufacturers that have failed to grow a userbase that lets them compete with Apple may wish for tablets to be a bubble, I feel they're ignoring a new segment.

    I have never purchased an apple device, bar an old 5G ipod in the past. When I saw Jobs present the iPad I could immediately see the utility. It doesn't compete with my laptop or my desktop. I use it in places my laptop doesn't work well. Say on the sofa, or in the kitchen. I can grab it and look something up while walking around. I can take it when traveling and use it to read news, watch video and still get emails or even remote desktop / ssh if needed.

    When HP liquidated their touchpad stock I grabbed one of those too. The iPad's app store is certainly a huge draw, but $100 is easily worthwhile for the web browser, video player and email. The trouble for the manufacturers who aren't Apple is that while $100-$200 is easily justifiable for that device, at the $400-500 price point folk want an iPad, mostly because of the Apps.

    The touchpad doesn't have a Netflix client. I can't fathom why HP didn't just pay Netflix to develop it, as it would easily have helped drive sales. I'm pretty sure they could have partnered with Amazon too for video and music services. At the moment, every non-apple brand of tablet is a compromise, yet there's no discount on price to reflect this. As a result, their userbase remains small and the apps remain undeveloped.

    Unless someone really tries to compete with Apple, either by offering a better product at the same price point, or a similar product at a discount, tablet sales will continue and only one manufacturer will benefit.

    • Netflix worked just fine through the browser on the TouchPad from what I've heard... Until the fire sale, when Netflix blocked it.

      • by sub67 (979309)

        Netflix worked just fine through the browser on the TouchPad from what I've heard... Until the fire sale, when Netflix blocked it.

        Hulu did this, not netflix. Netflix is silverlight based rather than flash which was never supported on the touchpad. Hulu worked natively in the webos browser and they pulled support for it. I guess their ads aren't enough and they won't let you use it unless they can monetize an app.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      I must say, you are pretty spot-on with pretty much everything.

      The touchpad doesn't have a Netflix client. I can't fathom why HP didn't just pay Netflix to develop it, as it would easily have helped drive sales. I'm pretty sure they could have partnered with Amazon too for video and music services. At the moment, every non-apple brand of tablet is a compromise, yet there's no discount on price to reflect this. As a result, their userbase remains small and the apps remain undeveloped.

      Unless someone really tries to compete with Apple, either by offering a better product at the same price point, or a similar product at a discount, tablet sales will continue and only one manufacturer will benefit.

      Just to continue your line of thought... perhaps Amazon is that competitor (I do think their current app-store is meh, and the Kindle isn't the answer, but they will learn). Also, Google's acquisition of Motorola may pretty much signal that Google is interested in the tablet space... for reals this time.

  • Lets compare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:16PM (#37213932)

    One company just had the highest quarterly [apple.com] sales in their entire history.

    The other company just lost a few million dollars [go.com].

    Which company do you think has a better clue about what consumers want?

  • Time to Go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:17PM (#37213954)
    Were I a significant shareholder of Acer, I would be calling for the replacement of JT Wang. His comments have consistently shown a disconnect from reality and that is not the sort of person one should want directing a corporation. Closing your eyes and pretending things are the way you want them to be rather than how they are isn't a sound business strategy.

    I realize that he shouldn't be a cheerleader for the competition but he's gone beyond that and is well into the realm of ignoring facts that are clear to anyone paying even a cursory attention to the market.
  • I agree (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MpVpRb (1423381)

    I have always believed that tablets were a very small niche application.

    They can not, and will not replace real computers.

    Theoe apple fanboys really can distort perceptions when they get going.

    • How are you able to breathe with your head stuck in the sand like that?
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MacTO (1161105) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:46PM (#37214970)

      I agree that tablets cannot replace computers. But ask yourself two questions:

      Are people expecting them to replace computers?

      How many people actually need computers?

      Computers were wonderful for a while since they enabled rapid technological innovations and people wanted access to those innovations, but I think we're eventually going to see people ditch computers for devices that are more suited to their needs.

      (Yes, I know that tablets are computers. But I would also suggest that a lot of people don't see them as computers.)

  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:22PM (#37213990)

    In its most recent quarter, Acer lost $234 million [engadget.com]. Acer has no competitive tablet offering among the dozens of competing Android tablets. And of course the iPad is selling like mad with an expectation of 22 million units sold during the upcoming holiday quarter [cnet.com].

    The Acer CEO is a dimwit who's talking smack because there's nothing else he can do to stem the tide of abject failure coming out of his factories. He is basically berating the customers for buying "hot" tablets, particularly the iPad, instead of buying the tried-and-true plastic Wintel units that Acer vomits up. His company bet big on low-margin netbooks and lost, and now he's betting on Intel "ultrabooks".

    HP just bailed out of the entire PC business (echoing IBM's decision in 2004), and among the reasons was that the tablet effect is real [electronista.com].

    The Acer CEO's effort is better focused on coming up with better products, not whining.

    • The Acer CEO is a dimwit who's talking smack because there's nothing else he can do to stem the tide of abject failure coming out of his factories

      Acer sold off their factories years ago. They are going the Motorola route of just outsourcing everything and hoping their name alone will allow them continue to reap huge profits. Obviously as you pointed out, those hopes arent coming to fruition.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      "Acer has no competitive tablet offering among the dozens of competing Android tablets." Except it does: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100013681&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&SrchInDesc=acer&Page=1&PageSize=20 [newegg.com]
    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Heh, I think Acer's products are fine, they're just always late to the party. I bought one of their dual-core atom nettops for work, and it's actually pretty nice compared to some of the other small PCs I played with before it. It had good specs and nicely integrated packaging. But by the time it came out it was just sort of pointless now that the little cheaper special-purpose nettops like rokus or googletvs or boxee boxes are out. Sure, those devices are more limited in what they can do, but the few t

  • by BLToday (1777712) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:30PM (#37214056)

    Before last weekend, I would say it's a fad and will eventually die out within a few years. Then I saw my grandfather using a iPad, that was eye opening. He's 90, been partial paralyzed for 15 years after a stroke so he can only use his left hand. He's never really use a computer and doesn't understand the concept of the Internet. My uncle had brought the iPad to show my cousin's white coat ceremony photos. After showing my grandfather how to open the Photo App (it's the sunflower icon), selecting which album he wanted to see (Graduation, Family Photos, etc.), moving the next picture by swiping your finger, and zooming in and out with pinching, under 5 minutes he was able to do all that and had a blast. I haven't seen him amazed by technology, ever. We've try to get him to use a computer, that didn't work.

    There's something here in tablets, not as a computing platform. It's a communication medium for the other 5 billion unconnected humans. It should be a seamless experience with the absolutely the lowest learning curve possible.

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      I think the iPad is trying to replace printed/paper media. In the past you would have shown grandpa a photoalbum.

      The iPad is a device that has access to digital content, but is as easy to use as most paper content.

      It's a media consumption device that's as easy to use as a book. We've had e-readers, but Apple is envisaging something that goes beyond books, to all printed media and even TV.

      I think they might buy Netflix or a move like that.It's where iTunes missed the boat.

    • by jerk (38494) <cherbert@NOspam.gmail.com> on Friday August 26, 2011 @10:40AM (#37219636)

      I had a similar experience with my 74 year-old grandmother. Though she's not disabled, I'd never seen her excited for any piece of technology. My mother showed her the iPad and her eyes lit up; she couldn't wait to get one. I drove them both down to the only place that had them in stock to buy one that very day, I couldn't believe it. That was almost exactly a year ago today and she still uses her iPad very frequently - I'd say more than half of her emails to my mother end in "Sent from my iPad." She's since replaced her Dell desktop with an iMac and was so excited when she did the upgrade to Lion on her own (she feared doing any sort of upgrade on her Dell); it was great to see her excited about technology and keeping more in touch with family outside of California.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:42PM (#37214158)

    Tablets were never going to sell like they were forever. We're approaching the point where most people who want them, already have them. That doesn't mean they were a fad or a bubble. Without looking at sales figures, I would guess that all major inventions, from the Model T to the microwave oven to the MP3 player have gone through a similar cycle. They will continue to sell as people upgrade or replace aging units, but not at the rate they once did. It's a huge win for Apple that they got in at the ground floor. All the "me too!" companies now have an uphill fight on their hands. The Acer CEO likely knows this, and so is declaring the grapes to be sour.

  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by sootman (158191) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:44PM (#37214178) Homepage Journal

    I guess it hasn't been proven scientifically that wishing doesn't work... Good luck with that, Mr. Wang!

  • ... for the wrong reasons.

    Notebooks and tablets will merge. Tablet HW is already good enough to run desktop OS & software...

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:55PM (#37214282) Journal

    I didn't know "prays" was spelled "d-e-c-l-a-r-e-s"

  • by Pop69 (700500) <billy AT benarty DOT co DOT uk> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:25PM (#37214484) Homepage
    Buy something that exists just now and allows me to do what I want

    OR

    Wait until an unreleased OS turns up on a platform that doesn't actually exist yet.

    Microsoft/Intel vapourware FUD yet again ?

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