Acer, Spooked by iTunes, Says No iPad Rival
Acer refuses to follow the pack with a tablet like Apple's iPad, saying it's too hard to compete with iTunes and the App Store.
Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin said the iPad's strength will lie in the iTunes music and video library, and the App Store's ever-growing software library, DigiTimes reports. Apple essentially created its own niche with those storefronts, and it'd be too difficult for competitors to duplicate even if a tablet is technically feasible, Lin said.
Instead, Acer will focus on netbooks and notebooks, which it believes won't be affected by the iPad.
Lin's remarks are puzzling because, by his logic, smartphones wouldn't be worth pursuing either. The iPhone was successful partly because of iTunes and eventually the App Store, but that hasn't stopped competitors, including Acer. In particular, Android is gaining market share and has a growing app marketplace, and it relies on Amazon for music.
Indeed, many of the tablets to follow the iPad will run on Android, including MSI's $500 tablet, reportedly dubbed the mPad. The established operating system will allow the iPad clones to get a head start on apps and multimedia.
I'm glad to see that some companies are taking on Apple's latest creation. In addition to the mPad, there's an HP tablet that Microsoft briefly showed at CES, a 5-inch Dell Android tablet, an 8.9-inch tablet from ExoPC based on Windows 7, and Android tablets in several sizes from ICD, not to mention Lenovo's hybrid tablet and notebook.
It's easy to dismiss some or all of those products as iPad wannabees, but they give consumers an alternative. Apple may have wowed the tech world with the iPad, but it needn't be the only game in town, despite what Acer thinks.