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By | Tony Smith 1st February 2010 10:55

Acer says no to iPad-alike tablet

Focusing on netbooks, notebooks

An Acer executive has contradicted one of his colleagues and claimed the company will not follow Apple into the multimedia web tablet arena.

Acer Taiwan chief Scott Lin said the company has no plans to launch a gadget along the lines of Apple's iPad.

But last week, Jim Wong, head of Acer’s IT products division, said the company was working on a tablet which, he admitted, will likely be similar to the iPad, though at that point in time, Apple had not yet made its announcement.

Such a product doesn't fit the Acer's approach to business, Lin said, according to DigiTimes. His gist is that Acer isn't interested in emulating Apple's high level of vertical integration: designing the hardware, the software and and the services that the device taps into.

Such an attitude is no surprise given Acer's roots as a PC OEM churning out kit for other people, an approach firmly rooted in the notion of focusing on one thing - hardware, in this case - and leaving the other bits to other suppliers.

The trouble is, that's not a margin-friendly business methodology, which is why many in the PC industry are increasingly looking to markets like, for example, the smartphone arena where there's still a lot of scope for differentiation and so higher prices and better margins.

Not Acer, though. Lin said the company will focus on skinny notebooks this year. He said he doesn't believe the iPad will hit the netbook market hard, arguing that the two types of devices are aimed at different groups of consumer. We can't see we're convinced of that. ®

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