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Portables Handhelds Windows Technology Hardware

Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble 692

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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  • Re:iPad fever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wiedzmin ( 1269816 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:14PM (#37213920)
    Another company that isn't cashing in on some technology is denouncing that technology? Mr. Wang should read Aesop's "The Fox and the Grapes" methinks.
  • A new segment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:15PM (#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.

  • Re:Fever? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:17PM (#37213948)

    I don't think it has anything to do with that, plenty of people have found uses for tablets. I think it has more to do with the fact that they're reaching market saturation at their current price points. They're still just a little too expensive for the mainstream to really start getting into them. Wait until they're priced like the HP fire sale tablet and you will see them exploding into use, and as more people have them there will be more development, functionality added in....just like with any platform, whether hardware or software.

    Once it gets to the point where people are throwing old tablets in drawers like they do with their old MP3 players and cell phones, I'll say yeah, the fever has passed.

  • I agree (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:18PM (#37213966)

    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.

  • Re:Fever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by berj ( 754323 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:23PM (#37214004)

    Always the same ridiculous assertions from people who don't understand how useful tablets are and can be. The idea that there's no reason to buy a tablet except because I want to be trendy is just absurd. I've completely replaced my laptop for all mobile computing with an iPad. I write emails, read books, do work, make money, travel and consume entertainment on it. My laptop has left my desk maybe twice in the last year and a bit (since the iPad 1 was released). There's no Apple fever. There's a desire to get away from devices that aren't suited to the task at hand (which the laptop is for most of my mobile computing needs). If I want or need a keyboard I can keep a bluetooth keyboard around or get an eePad Transformer which is a rather nice device because it's the best of both worlds (though I still find Android to be a very confusing and clunky OS). For 9%% of my mobile computing needs I don't need an attached keyboard. In fact a keyboard is an active hindrance. Have you ever tried to read something in portrait mode on a laptop? Have you ever tried to scrub through a quicktime movie while holding a laptop with one hand on a busy film set? Yeah. No thanks. I'll take the tablet.

    Nobody's been able to compete with Apple in this domain yet (though I'm certain in a few years they will manage it) so they're crying sour grapes and declaring the market dead. Uh huh. Riiiight.

  • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wild_dog! ( 98536 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @08:48PM (#37214218)

    Kindle is a ripoff?
    I don't think so for what it does.
    Ever buy about 10-12 books.... = the price of a kindle.
    Ever carry 10-12 books= 100 times the weight of a kindle.

  • Re:Fever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rk ( 6314 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:06PM (#37214358) Journal

    I'm a grizzled old neck-bearded software and science guy who is so old he actually used punch cards in a production environment (until we switched to 8-inch floppies!) and I think the iPad is a peach of a device.

    There are only two reasons I don't have one:

    1. I think they're cool as hell, but I don't think they're 500 dollars cool. And for the model I'd really want (with 3G+Wifi), I REALLY don't think they're 630 dollars cool.

    2. I was part of the Apple faithful for years, but got screwed over royally on a Pismo laptop that I paid $2,200 for back in 2000 that Apple refused to fix/replace. Apart from a couple 2nd gen iPod Nanos I bought my wife and son 5 years ago, I've been very leery of purchasing from them again. Maybe that's unfair, but hell, it's my money.

  • Re:Fever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by znerk ( 1162519 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:39PM (#37214604)

    My Xoom is nearly indispensable now that I have come to rely on it. I work in the medical industry and to be able to carry 90% of the functionality of a laptop with better battery life and a smaller form factor is just incredibly useful.

    Lawyers are another demographic I have seen tablets gaining massive ground in. Phones have to be shut off in the courtroom, and have a nasty habit of blaring noise at random moments if they're still on... whereas a tablet with a data-only cellular connection doesn't have this issue, and is usually excused from the "no cellphones" rule because it doesn't look like a phone.

  • Re:Fever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:53PM (#37214682) Homepage

    There is another tablet market and that is of course the eReader [] market. Basically the tablet is a content consumption device, with a teensy bit of interactivity and form filling thrown in.

    Acer doesn't want to get into the content distribution market, and Amazon's Kindle is just crap in comparison.

    So Acer is likely right, the tablet PC market has passed it fad moment and the big fight will be on for a more functional and colourful table eReader, subsidised by content distribution. Now the real question is will the major content distribution empires jump into the fray, a free fully featured tablet with a two year subscription contract to their whole media empire, including archived content. They have got the content and they can tell Apple et al to go jump and basically distribute direct.

  • by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:19PM (#37215160)

    Talk about missing the point, which is that Apple's vision of a tablet device--the iPad--has played a meaningful role in expanding the scope of how we interact with computing technologies. It wasn't Microsoft's Tablet PC running on Acer's hardware that did it, despite having predated the iPad.

    The history of computing is punctuated with numerous moments of redefinition, and no, Apple was not responsible for all of them, or even a majority of them. But it is undeniable that the ease of use and flexibility of the iPad has facilitated the use of computing technology in new contexts. They have found their way into hospitals and airplane cockpits. You KNOW you did something right when your product can be enjoyed by just about anyone from 3 to 100+. Not that these things were not possible or foreseeable by others, but it wasn't until the iPad that widespread adoption of a tablet device actually occurred.

    And that's what matters--not who made or envisioned the technology first, but who actually put it in people's hands, and got them to use it. That's what Mr. JT Wang doesn't understand (or is unwilling to acknowledge).

  • Re:Fever? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:44AM (#37215626)

    If you travel a lot, that's great... but it is just a gimmick for most people. I honestly don't see the point in watching a movie on a smartphone, pad, or even a computer without a giant monitor and great surround sound... sure, if I'm stuck on a plane it's one thing, but if I'm at home it makes no sense. I can't use it when I commute or when I'm sleeping... 90% of the rest of the time I'm either at home with access to my PC or at work. Even when I go out... honestly, as a computing professional, the last thing I need in a bar while playing pool is another computer.

    So it's reasonable to see that there are certainly people who can get a lot out of them, but for most people all they get is a "wow" factor, especially if you've already got a smart phone.

  • by jerk ( 38494 ) <cherbert@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:40AM (#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.

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