FRAMINGHAM 29 OCTOBER 2010 - Acer plans to launch "multiple" tablet devices at an event in New York on Nov. 23, with different OSes and multiple form factors, the company's CEO said Friday.
The market has been waiting for version 3.0 of Google's Android mobile software for use in tablets, said Gianfranco Lanci, president and CEO of Acer, but he did not say whether Acer planned an Android tablet.
He is optimistic about tablet sales and forecast a market of 40 million to 50 million globally next year.
Eventually, he believes, Acer can take a 15 percent to 20 percent share of the tablet market.
The tablet market heated up after Apple unveiled the iPad, and a number of companies have followed in its footsteps with similar products that use touchscreens, such as Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab.
With the rise of the tablet, sales of netbooks appear to be slowing down, but Lanci is not worried about the effect on sales of Acer's mini-laptops.
"The idea that the tablet will cannibalize the netbook, we don't see it, except in the U.S.," he said.
Lanci also commented on the impact of the decline in prices of computer components on the price of PCs for end users. Prices of a number of components that had been expensive most of the year, including DRAM chips and LCD panels, have fallen over the past several weeks, and are expected to continue to decline. PC buyers are likely to see better components in their new systems as a result.
"You're probably not going to see the price going down, you're likely to see the specs going up," Lanci said.
Earlier on Friday, executives at Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of DRAM and LCD panels, predicted that a glut in both products would likely help PC vendors offer better deals for new systems in the fourth quarter. The company believes lower prices for components will ease a parts shortage that has plagued the PC industry this year and should see PC vendors putting out more promotions to boost sales in the fourth quarter.
Acer also talked up a new app store it plans to launch, one store for all types of devices it sells, from desktops to laptops and smartphones, and multiple operating systems, including Windows, Meego and Android. Acer calls the store the NGS, for New Generation Store. The company plans to reveal more details about the store at the Nov. 23 press conference in New York.
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