EXCLUSIVE: Acer Australia is set become a major threat in the tablet market with a range of offerings that could put pressure on Samsung, Apple and the likes of Viewsonic who will release a new tablet this week. They also plan to out sell Apple within 2 years.
Last week Acer introduced a combination of Tablet OS devices including a 7-inch and 10.1 model running Android and Windows 7 these devices will be available in Australia in the second quarter according to Robin Tang Acer Australia Marketing Manager who has told ChannelNews that the Taiwanese Company sees tablets “as a major new category that will be split between consumer and commercial models running a variety of different applications”.
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He said that Acer planned to launch different Tablet models into different markets spanning both retail and carriers and via value added resellers who are able to deliver custom applications on tablets for customers in commercial markets spanning both the SMB and enterprise markets.
Last week Acer introduced a double-screen tablet, named Iconia, which runs on Microsoft’s Windows 7 software, Tang see this as an ideal tablet for commercial environments where specific applications can be used that need two screens, one where confidential information can be shown and one where public information can be reveal such as in a retail or medical environment.
Tang admits that Acer Australia is hoping will do better with their new Tablet offerings than they did with their Android Smartphones which have been rejected by all phone carriers and most retailers in the Australian market.
According to Tang both Optus and Telstra has already been shown versions of their Tablet offerings which he claims can be delivered to market in Australia fully customised for the Australian market.
This Tang claims is due in part to Acer Australia’s local operation which pre install in Australia custom apps for carriers and retailers.
Acer which is well known in Australia for their PC’s and notebooks has picked up share in the notebook market through deals with Telstra and retailers like Officeworks and Dick Smith this year.
Globally Acer is one of the top PC makers in the world and could eventually become the #1 brand globally.
When Acer releases its tablets next year, the company will be offering both a 7- and 10.1-inch option to consumers on either a Windows or Android platform. The new tablets are rich in features include such capabilities as HDMI additional storage capabilities while also taking it up to Apple in the looks stakes.
Tang said that Acer Australia plans to also launch a 5″ “Superphone” which he claims is “significantly better than a Smartphone”.
“This device delivers a full browser experience unlike a Smartphone and we believe there is a market for this device in Australia.
“We have spoken to Australia carriers about it but we have not shown them a working model” said Tang.
Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci said during a Q&A session last week that Acer to beat Apple in the tablet market within two to three years.
He said that he anticipates that Acer will get between 10 to 20 percent of the Tablet market with 12 months and will take the lead from the iPad later on.
He said that Apple’s problem was its US-centric focus, which could hurt it where Acer and others were more world oriented.
Lanci said Acer could take advantage of the scale of its PC business and its retail distribution to get the upper hand over everyone else, including its Asian rival Samsung.
Apple’s iPad currently has 95.5 percent of the market and won’t face any competition from Acer in tablets until April, a full year after the iPad first reached stores.
Acer corporate vice-president Jim Wong said the launches were not a direct threat to Apple, but rather a play to deliver similar services to PC users.
“We’re trying to appeal to other users who don’t use Apple’s services and products and trying to instil loyalty to Acer in the same way that they do with their customers.”