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.
Executives at Acer (2353) have had some harsh words for Microsoft (MSFT) regarding its Windows 8 operating system. CEO JT Wang was fuming after the software giant unveiled its Surface tablet and even issued a warning to the company, while other executives have blamed Microsoft for confusing would-be Windows 8 buyers. President Jim Wong said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday that Windows 8 has not been successful and the company has explored alternatives to increase revenue, such as Google’s (GOOG) Chrome OS. More →
Acer on Monday unveiled the latest addition to its Android-powered tablet lineup, an entry-level device with a sleek design and affordable pricing. The Iconia B1 tablet features a 7-inch WSVGA (1,024 x 600) display, a 1.2GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, a microSD expansion slot and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. While the device’s specs don’t look like much compared to more modern slates, the $150 price tag makes this tablet a contender. Launch timing has not yet been revealed, but Acer’s full press release follows below. More →
It seems that Acer (2353) president Jim Wong can’t decide whether to praise Microsoft (MSFT) or to bury it. Just days after Wong defended Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, he told AllThingsD that the company has done a poor job of marketing both the platform and its signature Surface tablet. In particular, Wong thinks that Microsoft has vastly overplayed the Surface’s click-in keyboard at the expense of showing off its touch interface features. More →
Windows 8 has taken potshots from MIT professors and drunk people alike, but at least one Microsoft (MSFT) OEM thinks such criticism is largely overblown. In an interview with Digitimes, Acer (2353) president Jim Wong said that Windows 8 is actually a very good operating system that consumers will adapt to it given enough time. More →
Taiwanese PC vendor Acer (2353) is indeed making a cheap $99 tablet, but it may never go on sale in the United States. Unnamed sources have told the The Wall Street Journal that Acer will target its $99 Iconia B1 tablet toward emerging markets such as China and not more mature markets such as the United States and Europe. In fact, the Journal reports that it’s “uncertain whether [the Iconia B1] will actually be sold stateside” at all, despite the fact that Acer submitted the tablet to the Federal Communications Commission for approval. More →
The Nexus 7 is still an amazing value at $249. But word around the block is that Google (GOOG) and ASUS (2357) are working on a $99 Nexus tablet. But now, per PhoneArena, it’s apparent that Acer (2353) is preparing to beat Google to the punch with a 7-inch Android 4.1 2Jelly Bean-powered tablet that will reportedly sell for $99. Naturally, a lower-priced tablet will come at the expense of less powerful specs. Acer’s Iconia B1 looks to have a Mediatek dual-core 1.2GHz processor, PowerVR SGX 531 GPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, microSD card and SIM card slot. For $99, its display also has a much lower resolution than the Nexus 7: 1024 x 600 pixels. The Iconia B1 has already cleared the Federal Communications Comission and will likely make an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.