Asus and Acer have officially confirmed that they’re interested in the growing wearables market and will have such devices of their own in stores at some point later this year, Focus Taiwan reports. While there are no details on what these devices will look like or how they’ll work, Asus has big plans for its device. “We will put our entire design thought into it,” Asus Chairman Jonney Shih said on Tuesday at the company’s year-and party. “There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don’t think products that lack special features will be useful. We’ll try to replace your watch by all means.” Shih added. More →
Although PC OEMs as a whole did poorly last year, Acer seems to have been hit harder than most. According to numbers released by IDC last fall, Acer saw its PC shipments decline by a stunning 34.5% year-over-year while the rest of the PC industry saw its shipments decline by a much more modest 7.6%. After the collapse of its Windows-based PC business, Acer is now trying to revive its fortunes by thinking outside the box… as in way, way, way outside the box. More →
Acer phones typically aren’t all that exciting but the company has come up with a noteworthy addition to its latest flagship smartphone: The ability to record 4K video. The new Acer Liquid S2 has a camera that can record 4K video and features some other impressive specs as well, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core processor, a 6-inch full HD display with a resolution of 368 pixels per inch, a 3,330 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-device storage and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Acer says that the Liquid S2 will release in October but declined to give exact pricing information at this time. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Microsoft is having a tough time getting many of its PC manufacturing partners to use Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT for their new devices and now The Wall Street Journal reports that longtime Windows OEM Acer is trying to grow its “non-Windows business as soon as possible” by embracing Android for mobile devices. Acer’s goal is to generate 30% of its revenue from Android devices and Chromebooks by the end of 2014, up from the 10% of revenue that the company expects those devices will deliver this year. More →
Acer’s Iconia W3 has easily been one of the most poorly received tech products released this year, with critics hammering it for its “infuriatingly poor screen,” for hardware that “sucks,” and for being “a device that shouldn’t exist.” That isn’t stopping Microsoft from touting the Iconia W3 in its latest iPad-bashing ad by comparing the Windows 8 tablet with the iPad mini, the 7.9-inch Apple tablet that’s been a hit with consumers so far. The ad is a typical riff on other recent Microsoft ads, with Apple’s Siri expressing confusion and frustration because Windows tablets can multitask, can use Microsoft Office and can play Halo while the iPad can’t. While there’s nothing wrong with taking shots at the iPad mini, Microsoft might have wanted to wait until it had an 8-inch Windows tablet that really offered Apple some competition first. The full ad follows below. More →
I’ve been critical of the ways that Microsoft has both sold and marketed its Surface RT tablet but I’ve never second-guessed the company’s decision to upset its own manufacturing partners by building its own hardware for its Surface tablets. If you’re curious why this is the case, look no further than the Acer Iconia W3, the world’s first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that is getting positively savaged by reviewers this week. More →
The verdict is still out on wearable technology and whether or not it will become the next big thing. Acer’s smartphone chief, ST Liew, is optimistic about its future and said his company will release its first wearable device sometime next year. In an interview with Pocket-Lint, the executive noted that wearable technology presents a tremendous opportunity for companies. He believes that the industry hasn’t exploded yet, but when it does it could be a multi-billion dollar market. Liew didn’t give many details about the company’s upcoming gadget, although he hinted at a device with long battery life and features such as inductive charging. A number of companies are said to be exploring wearable technology. Earlier reports have suggested that Google, Apple, Samsung, LG and Microsoft are all planning to release smart watches in 2014.
Acer’s smartphone business is struggling to distinguish itself in the crowded Android market, however a company executive has confirmed that it still has no plans to launch smartphones on another operating system. Despite being a longtime partner of Microsoft, Acer smartphone vice president Allen Burnes explained that Windows Phone isn’t yet a safe bet for the company. In an interview with Pocket-lint, the executive revealed that Acer would like to produce Windows Phone 8 handsets sometime down the road. He praised the platform as a whole, however he explained that Acer could not invest in the operating system until Microsoft built it up more. Burnes noted that app selection was still a serious problem, as was brand awareness. For the time being, Acer remains focused on its Android smartphones.
Acer doesn’t seem to be able to make up its mind about Microsoft and its new platforms. Top executives from the company have called Windows 8 a flop and bashed Microsoft for its Surface tablet, but at the same time Acer’s president Jim Wong has also defended the operating system. Microsoft is doubling down on its Windows RT platform and is looking to its manufacturing partners to help spur consumer interest with new and affordable devices to compete with low-cost Android tablets. Acer may not be one the companies willing to help Microsoft, however. Acer chairman J.T. Wang said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that Windows RT won’t be “so influential anymore,” and the company is unsure if it will release a new RT tablet. More →
Acer president Jim Wong has been highly critical of Microsoft and the Windows 8 operating system over the past year. The executive previously bashed the company for its Surface tablet and failed marketing of Windows 8 devices. Microsoft recently confirmed that it is working on Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue, which will be an update that includes various software changes, such as the return of the Start button. Wong believes these changes are a step in the right direction, noting that Microsoft is being more “considerate” to its hardware partners and adopting their input “at a high percentage.” More →
A recent report suggested Windows 8 may have hurt the declining global PC market rather than helped it, and new inside data points to a continued negative trend in April. According to Digitimes’ research arm, the top-5 PC vendors in the world saw their notebook shipments plummet a combined 20% sequentially in March. The site thinks overall shipments will likely fall yet again in the second quarter as a result, and Q2 shipments could be down 15% year-over-year. HP, Acer and Lenovo saw the worst April shipment plunges according to Digitimes and excess inventory is reportedly building as vendors ready their next-generation laptop models.
Anyone holding out for lower-cost Windows tablets may not have that much longer to wait. PCWorld reports that an image and product description for the world’s first small Windows-based tablet, called the Acer Iconia W3-810-1600, leaked onto Amazon over the weekend before being quickly taken down. From a specs perspective, the new tablet features an 8.1-inch display and 32GB of storage and was selling on Amazon for $380 before it was removed. Microsoft recently made some changes to its Windows 8 hardware certification guidelines that gave OEMs more freedom to make smaller tablets by knocking down the display resolution requirements to 1024 x 768 pixels at a depth of 32 bits for smaller devices.
A handful of companies are said to be preparing new Chromebook models that will launch later this year. According to a report from Digitimes, both Acer and ASUS are optimistic about the long-term prospects of Google’s Chromebooks and are working on low-priced computers that will debut in the second half of 2013. Acer is reportedly planning to target students with a new 11.6-inch model to be released in July, while new Chrome OS-powered computers are expected from ASUS, HP, Samsung and Lenovo later this year. Of note, ASUS never planned to enter the market but has apparently rethought its strategy. Google is also said to be working with ASUS, Acer, HP and Samsung on so-called “Androidbooks” that could debut in the near future.