Acer Drops Tablet Forecast By Half


Acer Inc. (2353), the Taiwanese PC maker battling excess inventory and a share-price slump, more than halved its tablet forecast because of concerns a weaker European economy may damp demand.

Tablet shipments will be about 2.5 million to 3 million units this year, President Jim Wong said in Taipei today. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer JT Wang as recently as May 10 forecast selling 7 million of the devices, which compete with Apple Inc.’s iPad and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Tab.

Right now the tablet market looks quite simple to me: the iPad vs. Android-based tablets. Yes, there is the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, but I think that particular device will be short lived. To successfully compete with the iPad a company needs three critical elements: a well-designed affordable tablet, tons of quality apps, and a cloud services infrastructure.

The hardware guys seem to be doing a fairly good job of keeping their Android tablet offerings state-of-the-art. Google’s cloud-based services are excellent and I believe they will only get better. The only element that is not up to par against the iPad is the number of quality Android apps. There simply isn’t that cachet. And there’s a reason for that.

It will be most difficult for Acer to develop a tablet that just works like the iPad. The reason is Acer and Google are two different companies. Close collaboration will yield very good products, but nothing that will work as well as the iPad, which is a fine tuned experience crafted by a single company.

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