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Acer & Asus: Compensating lower PC sales by tablet PC push

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Update: Asustek Takes Aim at Apple With Latest Tablet [Aug 2, 2011]

Asustek Computer Inc. is reportedly planning to fight off Apple with its latest Transformer-coded tablet PC in anticipation that Apple will cut down prices of its iPad 2 when launching iPad 3 at retail prices on par with iPad 2`s launching prices.

Industry executives estimated Apple to offer discounted prices for iPad 2s in order to clear inventories before launching sales of iPad 3s by this Thanksgiving or next year. They forecast iPad 3s would go on sales at the same prices as iPad 2s’ launching prices.

If so, iPad 3s will pose a threat to non-Apple tablets. To counter, Asustek is reportedly planning to introduce its next generation of Transformer laptop, which doubles as tablet by removing an optional keypad, in October this year.

People familiar with Asustek`s plan say Asustek is working with its components suppliers on developing advantageous designs that can compete with iPad 3. They point out that 2G Transformer is lighter, thinner, quicker in response to switch on and off, and longer in battery work hour on each electrical charge. Asustek is said to offer one definite price tag for 2G Transformer to get rid of speculation on further price markdown, which can inspire consumers to delay the purchases.

Upbeat sales are expected for 2G Transformer as sales of its predecessor are impressive. Asustek sets to ship two million 1G Transformers throughout this year.

Industry executives pointed out that Asustek is among the non-Apple tablet makers that are gearing up to fight off Apple.

Comparative Tablet Teardowns Reveal iPad Design Advantages [IHS iSuppli, Aug 1, 2011]

In the 15 months since the introduction of the iPad, competitive tablet manufacturers still can’t match the design efficiency of Apple Inc.’s groundbreaking product, according to an IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis of eight tablet modelsfrom information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).“Since Apple controls both the operating system and hardware design of the iPad, it is able to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers cannot,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst, competitive analysis, at IHS. “These efficiencies become obvious in areas like the memory [see the half size SDRAMs in the below table] and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance compared with every competitor in the business.”

Other tablet makers employ operating systems from third-party firms—such as Google Inc., which provides the Android software used in most competitive products on the market today. Many of these tablet makers also outsource the blueprints of their products to third parties, employing reference designs and design services from contract manufacturers.

This contrasts with the model employed by Apple, which uses its own operating system and maintains tight control of its design, components and contract manufacturers.

Apple takes a vertically integrated approach to its products, from the operating system to the user interface, to the hardware design, down to the selection of individual parts used in the device,” Lam noted. “For example, Apple even uses its own applications processor design in both the iPad and iPad 2. In contrast, Android tablet makers buy those capabilities from the likes of Nvidia, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm. This gives Apple greater control in multiple areas of product development.”

The table presents an overview of the results of the dissection of eight tablet models. Note that the BOM figures accounts only for hardware and manufacturing costs and do not take into consideration other expenses such as software, licensing, royalties or other costs.

*Motorola XOOM only comes in 32GB which retails for $799. We’ve normalized capacity for purpose of this comparative exercise
Source: IHS iSuppli Research, Aug 2011

iPad’s Memory and Battery Stay Slim
Apple’s control over the operating system allows it to reduce costs by limiting the quantity of memory in the iPad. In the current-generation iPad 2, the density of synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) is 512 megabytes—half that of the 1 gigabtye used in competitive designs. This memory density reduction results in a nearly $14 reduction in the BOM of the iPad 2 compared to other tablets. Likewise, the original iPad contained half as much SDRAM as comparable competitive devices with single-core applications processors.

The iPad’s efficient memory usage stems from the fundamental difference in the architecture of the operating system,” Lam said. “Apple’s iOS handles multitasking differently than other tablet operating systems, allowing it to reduce the amount of memory required to support the microprocessor.”

Also, Apple’s tight management of its product design, software integration and component selection also allow the iPad’s battery to be the thinnest of all competing tablet designs while still having the largest capacity.

Tablet Trends
Extensive teardown research also reveals how Apple is setting the pace in the tablet market in the areas of pricing and screen size.

Apple established the sweet spot for tablet pricing, pegged at $500 for the Wi-Fi version of the Apple iPad that included 16 gigabytes of NAND flash memory. Samsung reinforced this pricing standard with the 16-gigabyte version of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 model.

Other tablets such as the BlackBerry Playbook from Research in Motion Ltd. and the TouchPad from Hewlett-Packard Co. have gravitated toward that price point as well.

Apple also is setting the standard for display sizes, with the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen becoming the default standard in the market. Although some tablets have been introduced with screens in the 7-inch range, notably RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook and the upcoming HTC Flyer, the number of designs in the market with 10.1- and 9.7-inch displays have been more plentiful.

“Dual-ing” Tablets
The IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis Service also illustrates the trend toward multi-core processors in tablet designs. Following the introduction of the Motorola Xoom in February and the iPad 2 in March, all new tablet designs within 2011 have included dual-core processors that deliver higher computing and graphical performance.

In 2012 IHS expects to see this trend to continue with the introduction of tablets featuring quad-core processors for even more enhanced performance.

Apple Rides High-Margin Hardware to Competitive Supremacy [IHS iSuppli, July 29, 2011]

As shown by iSuppli’s Teardown Analysis service, Apple commands hardware gross margins in the range of 50 percent on the iPhone, compared to 20 percent to 40 percent for competitive products.

These high margins are the product of the company’s unique approach to product design and Intellectual Property (IP). So far, competitors’ responses to the iPhone have been lookalike, brute-force solutions that throw money at expensive features. Such a tactic yields a higher Bill of Materials (BOM) and generates lower profits—but still doesn’t provide the same quality of user experience as Apple’s products.

Oil Money
The benefits of Apple’s high-margin hardware strategy recently have manifested themselves in the company’s titanic market capitalization. At a level of $234 billion, Apple’s capitalization exceeded that of Microsoft Corp., making Apple the largest technology company in the world based on this measure. In fact, among all types of companies worldwide, Apple’s market capitalization is second only to oil giant Exxon Mobil.

Meanwhile, Apple now holds a cash reserve of $23 billion, giving the company a massive war chest.

To put this into perspective, Apple could buy more than half of Nokia Corp. or all of Motorola Inc. just with its cash reserves—not that iSuppli actually expects the company to consider that.

Building Differentiation
While many companies have developed smartphones to compete with the iPhone based on assembling increasingly expensive subsystems, Apple has taken a unique approach.

For instance, Apple employs a touch controller Integrated Circuit (IC) from Broadcom Corp., but combines it with its own touch system architecture. In another example, Apple’s fingerprints are all over the new A4 processor used in the iPad. However, the A4 started with building blocks made by Samsung Electronics.

A third example is that Apple chose to build around Infineon Technologies’ baseband IC, rather than choosing a more encompassing Snapdragon solution from Qualcomm.

Apple’s Lucky Star
The stars have aligned for Apple, and the company’s hardware and design vision perfectly matches the demand for improving utility of the Internet.

The only company capable of directly challenging Apple’s prominence is Google Inc. Nonetheless, with the vast size of the market opportunity in the mobile world, iSuppli expects the two companies to profitably coexist.

At the same time, iSuppli expects Apple’s lead to extend. Given the variety of initiatives under way, iSuppli is convinced that Apple will offensively widen the gap that now exists relative to its peers, rather than simply extend the time defensively until others catch up.

Tablets to Power Growth of Mobile Broadband Market in 2011 [July 28, 2011]

Shipments of mobile broadband devices in 2011 are projected to climb to 157.9 million units, up from 100.1 million units in 2010. Aside from tablets, the mobile broadband segment includes devices such as notebook and netbook computers, as well as e-book readers.

This year’s growth rate for mobile broadband devices parallels the robust 57.4 percent expansion of 2010, and coming on top of a larger base affirms the market’s strong performance for the second year in a row. Shipments will continue to rise during the next few years but at lower rates, declining to 38.1 percent in 2012 and gradually trending downward until 11.0 percent in 2015 to some 350.7 million units. The five-year compound annual growth rate, computed from the starting year of 2010, stands at 28.5 percent.

Within the segment, tablets will represent the fastest-growing mobile broadband device this year with shipments projected to reach 58.9 million units, up a mighty 239.3 percent from 17.4 million in 2010.

“More than any wireless device, media tablets—exemplified by the best-selling iPad from Apple Inc.—appear to be at the forefront in boosting mobile broadband,” said Francis Sideco, principal analyst for wireless research at IHS. “Affecting everything from supply ecosystems to chipset design, to services, applications and business models, tablets are spurring innovation not just in the wireless sector but also across multiple industries,” Sideco noted.

In particular, media tablets are influencing every node of the value chain, including suppliers, device manufacturers, mobile network operators, third-party applications and service suppliers. In the supply node of the value chain, for instance, tablets impact not only how core chipsets and architectures are designed but also how chipset strategies are implemented and then marketed.

“The excitement surrounding tablets is primarily due to the virtually unlimited range of value-added services and applications that may be delivered through tablets because of their wireless networking capability,” Sideco said. “Whether tablets have built-in Wi-Fi or come with embedded 3G/4G chips, the wireless function of tablets enables them to transcend just merely being another cool gadget into a virtual storefront, with the potential to generate revenue for any number of downstream businesses and industries.”

Of the various ways to enable broadband access for consumer electronics devices, mobile hotspots and embedded chipsets are the fastest-growing methods, growing 25 to 50 percent faster than the overall market, Sideco noted. Key to their growth is the capability of mobile hotspots to combine data access for multiple devices while staying at the forefront of technology, as well as the flexibility of design enabled by chipset solutions in devices.

By 2015, the majority of mobile broadband devices will utilize the 4G wireless standard known as long term evolution (LTE), in line with consumer demand for faster speeds and, perhaps more important, lower latencies or delays from their mobile broadband networks.

“Growth in mobile broadband devices will drive an explosive increase in mobile data traffic, causing carriers to rapidly rethink their strategies for network and service deployments as well as data monetization,” Sideco said. “And as new players target the mobile device market, existing players at every node of the communications value chain will need to continually evolve their business strategies. Failure to do so in this dynamic market, with continually changing paradigms, will cause even well-established players to be relegated quickly to marginal roles.”

See also:
Netbook prices starting $50 less at $200 via Intel MeeGo strategy [July 29, 2011]
Tackling the Android tide [July 16, 2011]
Acer repositioning for the post Wintel era starting with AMD Fusion APUs [June 17, 2011]
Microsoft’s huge underperformance on mainland China market [May 30, 2011]
Amazon Tablet PC with E Ink Holdings’ Hydis FFS screen [May 3, 2011]
– from the original post of March 29 (moved up to here): ASUS Eee Slate based Windows marketing from Microsoft [March 21, 2011] which is presenting the Windows Slate value proposition based on the Eee Slate product of ASUS being the first real slate product for Microsoft and thus finally enabling Redmond to start the long awaited value proposition campaign (just a start for MS but a very important one to build the much wanted by it premium value proposition over tablets from Apple and Google/Android)
– from the original post of March 29 (moved up to here): Follow-up: Acer’s decision of restructuring: a clear sign of accepting the inevitable disintegration of the old PC (Wintel) ecosystem and the need for joining one of the new ecosystems under formation [April 1, 2011] Worth to read along with this: Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16, 2011]

Acer Iconia Tab A100 finally available in August for $300 [July 29, 2011]

It’s been a long and twisted road for Acer’s 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, but after all the starts and stops, we’ve finally got an ETA for the Iconia Tab A100. According to an email sent out to Acer retail partners today, the slab should land in stores sometime in early August with a suggested price tag of $300 [becoming the first Honeycomb tablet in that size]. The Tegra 2-powered device was originally slated for a mid-May launch, but was reportedly held up by Honeycomb compatibility issues. Also arriving early August, is a pair of new Aspire notebooks: the 15.6-inch 5750Z and the 17.3-inch 7739Z, ringing in at $475 a piece. Both laptops rock 4GB of DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 8GB), 500GB of storage, and Intel Pentium processors. Given the extra three months Acer’s had to get the Iconia Tab A100 to market, that Honeycomb better taste extra sweet when it finally makes its debut.

Acer to ship 300,000-400,000 tablet PCs in 3Q11, say sources [July 25, 2011]

Acer is expected to take up delivery of 30,000 units of its 7-inch Iconia A100 tablet PCs from ODM Compal Electronics in July and increase the volume to 100,000 units in the August-September period, according to industry watchers.

More on Acer towards the end of Aug 2 Update.

Wintek to supply touch panels for use in Asustek tablet PC Eee Pad Transformer [Aug 2, 2011]

Taiwan-based Wintek has become the second supplier of touch panels for use in the second-generation Eee Pad Transformer tablet PC model to be launched by Asustek Computer in October 2011, according to Eee Pad Transformer supply chain makers.

In view of booming sales of the 10.1-inch first-generation Eee Pad Transformer, Asustek is having its supply chain well prepared for production of the second-generation model and therefore has selected Wintek to supply touch panels in addition to HannStar Display, which makes touch sensors produced by its subsidiary Sintek Photronic into touch panels, the sources pointed out. Wintek will begin small-volume shipments in the middle of the third quarter and shipments in large volumes will begin at the end of the quarter, the sources indicated.

Asustek shipped an estimated 400,000 Eee Pad Transformer tablet PCs in the second quarter of 2011 and aims to ship more than one million units in the third quarter, the sources noted.

Asustek to ship 300,000 Eee Pad Transformer tablets in June, says chairman [June 10, 2011]

Asustek Computer’s shipments of Eee Pad Transformer tablet PCs will reach 300,000 units as projected for June, and will account for 10% of total revenues for the month, according to company chairman Jonney Shih.

For the first half of 2011, total shipments of Eee Pad Transformers will top over 400,000 units compared to its target of 300,000, Shih added.

Shih made the remarks while Acer has lowered its tablet PC shipment target for 2011 from 7.5-10 million to five million units [then even lower to 2.5 million units, see much below in this August 2 Update]. But sources at component suppliers believe that Acer’s revised target still remains too high.

While Motorola Mobility has said that it shipped 250,000 Xoom tablets during the February-April period, the sources indicated total shipments of Xoom tablets will be below 500,000 units by the end of June.

Additionally, sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs and HTC’s HTC Flyers tablets have been flat so far, the source added.

With plans to launch new models including sliding tablets and its Padfone, Asustek is confident that it will be able to sustain its goal to ship two million tables PCs in 2011, Shih stated.

Asustek sets prices lower for US-bound Eee Pad Transformer tablet PCs [May 23, 2011]

Asustek Computer has adopted an aggressive pricing strategy for its entry-level Eee Pad Transformer tablet PCs sold in the US market, a move which may force other vendors to adjust their pricing for comparable models, according to industry sources.

Asustek began to market its 10.1-inch Eee Pad Transformer in the US in May with the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model priced at US$399.99, which equals roughly NT$11,500 compared to a price of NT$14,900 set in April when the device was initially launched in Taiwan.

Asustek is expected to ship two million tablet PCs in 2011, with the Eee Pad Transformer accounting for about 50% of total shipments, the sources estimate.

Facing price competition from Asustek, Acer reportedly is reviewing its pricing for comparable models sold in the US market, said the sources, noting that Acer currently sets the price of its 10.1-inch 16GB Iconia tablet PC at US$449.99.

Additionally, prices for Android 3.1-based tablet PCs to be launched by other vendors in the second half of the year may also be affected, with ASPs of Android 3.1 models likely to be dragged down by US$100, the sources commented.

ASUStek’s promotional video:
Eee Pad Transformer- My Multiple Lifestyle, I decide [April 12, 2011]

[ http://www.facebook.com/ASUSEee ]
Visit the ASUS Eee fan to know more product information and join campaigns.

Meet the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the best tablet choice for users looking for both media consumption and mobile productivity. Featuring an expandable keyboard docking station and a combined battery life of up to 16 hours, the Transformer is a 10.1″ tablet running the new Android 3.0 operating system, Honeycomb. Stay productive with Polaris® Office® or enjoy multimedia with Adobe® Flash®10.2 support. Combine it with ASUS’ intuitive Waveshare user interface and the most powerful hardware features available makes the Transformer an exciting portable device supporting both office work and social communication.

ASUStek’s product site:
Eee Pad Transformer TF101 [April 2, 2011]
already indicating Android 3.2

Android 3.2 comes to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (while Acer’s tablet gets Android 3.1) [July 29, 2011]
Asus Eee Pad Transformer to get Google Android 3.2 starting July 28th
[July 27, 2011]

The latest version of Android doesn’t really bring much to the tablet for people that are already using Android 3.1. There’s better graphics support for some apps that were designed to run on smartphones, and some other minor tweaks. The key difference is that the operating system will run on 7 inch tablets with lower resolution screens, but you don’t really care about that if you’re already using a Transformer.

On the other hand, Asus appears to be bundling one minor update of its own with Android 3.2: After installing the update you’ll be able to use multitouch gestures on the touchpad on the optional keyboard dock accessory for the tablet.

See: ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Full Review Video [with 3.2 already] [14:38 long, July 30, 2011] if you are interested in an overall usage experience including bundled applications like ASUStek’s own Polaris® Office® 3.0:

… a professional mobile office Solution which enables users to edit various types of office documents including documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentation (.ppt) files, making the Transformer very attractive for professional use.

Asustek Jumps to No.4 Spot in China`s Tablet PC Market in Q2 [Aug 2, 2011]

The Taiwan-based Asustek Computer Inc., a world-caliber PC brand, scored a 4.2% share as the fourth-largest brand in the Chinese market for tablet PCs in the second quarter, outpacing Motorola and Lenevo, according to a local market research body Enfodesk.

Enfodesk`s report shows that sales of tablet PCs totaled 1.4414 million units in the market in the second quarter of this year, with Apple Inc. remaining No.1 with a dominant market share of 74.3%. The China-based eben and Samsung posted a share of 4.8% and 4.5%, respectively, for the No.2 and No.3 spot. Trailing Asustek, Motorola and Lenovo came fifth and sixth, respectively, with a 2.2% and 2.0% share.

Enfodesk`s analysts indicated that with more players joining the competition, the market will see increasingly intense competition. They pointed out HTC`s Flyer, for instance, has similar technical specifications as eben`s competing models, and hence is expected to capture some of its potential shares in the future.

While Apple`s iPad keeps dominating the market, Asustek`s EEE Pad Transformer, which has received raving reviews from foreign news agencies, like New York Times, for its cutting-edge keypad attachment and friendly selling prices, has quickly gained its ground. In addition to China, in fact, the product has also enjoyed hot sales in different countries of the world, helping the brand to offset a sales decline in netbook PCs so far this year.

But, now that few brands can narrow Apple`s lead in a short time, the competition for the No.2 spot in the market will become even more intense, especially when more low-priced generic tablet PCs have also hit the market to threaten these runner-ups, indicated market observers.

DisplaySearch`s survey findings show that global sales of generic tablet PCs sharply increased to 1.9 million units to command a 19.6% share of the total in the first quarter of this year, only next to Apple`s market share and higher than any of a single PC brand. Compared to branded models that sell for between RMB3,500 [US$544] and RMB5,000 [US$777], generic tablet PCs are commonly priced at RMB2,000 [US$311] and below, well received as low-end alternatives in the Chinese market.

Market Share Recorded by Tablet PC Brands in China in Q2, 2011
Ranking Brand Market Share
1 Apple 74.3%
2 eben 4.8%
3 Samsung 4.5%
4 Asustek 4.2%
5 Motorola 2.2%
6 Lenovo 2.0%

Source: Enfodesk

ASUS Transformer Review: Buy ASUS Eee Pad, iPad, Xoom or Galaxy? [May 19, 2011]

ASUS Transformer is quite good, brown color and texturized surface Android 3.0 Tablet, despite of its Laptop Like Looks. It has 1024px 10 inches display with an nVidia Tegra 2 Processor inside. It has almost 10hrs Battery Life [compares with 10 hours for the iPad 2].

ASUS Eee Pad lacks the 3G connectivity at the moment which will be available in next coming model. It has a built in HDMI port. This hybrid gadget can rightfully claim to be one of the best tablets in the market so far, with far [more] beautiful looks than the bulky Xoom and a price cheaper than Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

The tablet computers that compete with the iPad have mostly been uninspiring. The Eee Pad Transformer stands out with a design that isn’t just copied from the iPad: It’s a tablet that turns into a laptop.

For $399, $100 cheapestr than iPad, you get a tablet computer with a 10-inch screen and hardware that doesn’t cut corners. It’s fully usable on its own. For another $149, you can buy a keyboard that connects to the tablet. Together, they look and open like a small laptop.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Display Screen uses the same technology as the iPad’s [see here: IPS Panel, 178° wide view angle], making it easy to read from any angle and in any orientation. It is slightly larger than the iPad’s and has a slightly higher resolution.

The ASUS Transformer tablet weighs 0.68 kg and has a rear 5MP camera that allows you to take picture with it, even if for some this can be quite uncomfortable. You can get the 16 GB version for 399$.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Camera quality is so-so but more than adequate for videoconferencing through Google Talk. The Transformer has two cameras, as we expect from this year’s tablets.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen small laptops running Android, but it is the first time ASUS Transformer runs Honeycomb, the first Android version specifically designed for tablets rather than smartphones. The update makes Android much better at taking advantage of a 10-inch screen.

But as tablet software, Android is still far behind Apple’s iOS software for the iPad. The biggest problem is the low quality and poor selection of applications from outside companies. Many of my favorite iPad apps, including Netflix and The Wall Street Journal are not available at all. Others, such as The New York Times, are available only in inferior versions, designed for the smartphone screen rather than the tablet.

I also had frequent crashes when using the applications. The Transformer is perhaps the best Android tablet out there, especially considering the price, but the software is still a major weakness. Still, the beautifully integrated keyboard should tempt people who don’t want to decide between a tablet and a laptop.

Honeycomb Market Unpredictable – Will not install apps [July 27, 2011]

We have 15 Motorola Xoom Tablets for a High School Classroom.  I have updated all of them to Android 3.2 (Honeycomb).  I have been testing installation of apps through the market and have had very unpredictable behavior on all the devices.  Sometimes I can install apps and sometimes I can’t.  At first it seemed like it didn’t work with our ‘Google Apps for Education’ accounts but then a few of the tablets wouldn’t install apps with our personal Gmail account.  We would take them home and sometimes that would help and sometimes that wouldn’t.  We put them outside our firewall here and that didn’t seem to help either.  When we go to install an app it just sits there with the green bar scrolling.  At that time, if we go to manage apps and the Market, stop the market and clear the data, then go back into the market, the app shows under ‘not installed’ apps……then when we click that it usually installs.  I’ve also tried pushing the installs through the web browser too and that didn’t seem to make a difference.  At this point it seems like they are door stops as they are practically unusable.  As soon as it seems like we have it narrowed down, another device proves that wrong.  And yes, I have tried Factory Resets on all of them.

Any ideas?  No way am I going to call Motorola because they’ll tell me to unplug it and stupid stuff like that.

There was neither cure nor help for that from anybody (neither the vendor nor other users). This is the current sad state of the Android tablet market! ASUStek’s case is not different either (couldn’t be).

Android 3.1 on the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer [Anandtech, May 28, 2011]

At Google I/O Android 3.1 was unveiled along with details of Android Ice Cream Sandwich [a combination of Gingerbread and Honeycomb into a “cohesive whole”]. Here you see Android 3.1 (right) vs. 3.0.1 (left) on the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. See also a very detailed ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Review [Anandtech, April 21, 2011] for the current (3.0.1) version where the ASUS tablet is also compared with Apple iPad 2, BlackBerry Playbook and Motorola Xoom.

Android 3.2 GPL source code published, update should follow soon [July 12, 2011]

… today Android Open-Source Project engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru has pushed the GPL portions of the 3.2 source code to the AOSP tree.  Don’t think this means that Honeycomb has been open-sourced — this is just the bits used for the 3.2 update that are using the GPL license, which requires the source code to be available when the software is shipped.

For you developers out there, JBQ also gives build instructions (they haven’t changed since last time) and warns that the binaries aren’t likely to run on actual hardware, again like the 3.1 code.  …

Motorola Xoom gets Android 3.2, 4G module’s FCC approval [July 12, 2011]

Motorola Xoom owners received two treats on Tuesday with new software and a hint of new hardware. Google has posted to its Android Building group  that Android 3.2 is both available to download and should be reaching the tablets. The upgrade adds legacy app zooming, Exchange fixes, and the SD card slot support that Google had promised half a year ago before the launch of the Xoom.

The OS is also poised to be the first from Google to natively support seven-inch tablets like the Huawei MediaPad and HTC Flyer. Acer should also use it for the repeatedly delayed Iconia Tab A100. The PC builder had tried to force Android 3.0 on to the small size but found it unworkable.

Another of the initially promised upgrades, the 4G LTE module for Verizon, has surfaced at the FCC. The mini PCI card itself is nondescript but shows that Motorola will likely have a quick turnaround for the upgrades, which require that owners send in the Xoom to have it upgrade by Motorola itself.

Motorola cuts Xoom prices in US and Taiwan [July 7, 2011]

Motorola Mobility has lowered the price of its 32GB Wi-Fi-enabled Xoom tablet PCs for sale in the US from US$599 to US$499 and in the Taiwan market from NT$19,800 (NT$687) to NT$16,900.

Motorola’s price reduction comes after rival Asustek Computer launched its entry-level Eee Pad Transformer tablet PCs in the US market in May for just US$399, according to industry sources.

More tablet vendors are likely to cut their product prices prior to the launch of iPad 3 and Google’s next-generation Ice Cream Sandwich tablets to avoid the piling-up of old models, the sources commented.

Acer is likely to be forced to lower prices of Iconia tablet PCs in August in order to fulfill its goal to ship 2.5 million tablets in 2011, noted the sources, adding that Acer’s tablet PC shipments could have been below 300,000 units for the year so far.

Toshiba is also expected to reduce the price of its Android 3.0-based AT100 tablets in the Taiwan market after August, added the sources. The AT100 is currently available at NT$18,800.

Acer cuts Iconia tablet price to boost sales [July 29, 2011]

Acer has slashed the price of its 10-inch Iconia Tab A500 tablet PCs in the US market from US$449.99 to US$395 aiming to achieve its goal of shipping a total of 2.5-3 million tablet PCs in 2011.

The price reduction apparently aims to take on Asustek Computer’s Eee Pad Transformer tablets which are priced at US$399 for the US market, pointed out industry sources.

Acer in June lowered its 2011 shipment target for tablet PCs from 5-7 million units to 2.5-3 million units following a corporate restructuring in the second quarter. But some market watchers expect Acer to ship only two million tablet PCs as a best case scenario in 2011.

To cope with price competition from Acer, Asustek is expected to cut prices for its Eee Pad Transformers in mid-August, indicated the sources, adding that other brand vendors will also be forced to cut prices for their comparable Android/Nvidia Tegra 2 models.

Acer aggressively headhunting software talent from HTC, Asustek, Pegatron [July 27, 2011]

Acer has reportedly been aggressively headhunting software talent from players such as High Tech Computer (HTC), Asustek Computer and Pegatron Technology recently hoping to fill its gap in software development capability quickly, according to sources from PC players.

Commenting on the market rumor, Asustek pointed out that the company provides great treatment to its R&D technicians and the team is currently performing several new product developments and it has not heard any rumors about its employees leaving for other companies.

Starting from the end of 2009, Acer has been working aggressively seeking software R&D talent and successfully recruited an R&D team of 30 technicians from HTC to help rescue its smartphone business as well as cut into development of tablet PCs. However, compared to its competitors, which have close to thousands of technicians, Acer’s software R&D manpower is still rather weak, the sources noted.

Since Acer is providing great packages for its software R&D talent, the three firms all reportedly have several technicians ready to join Acer, while the deal has attracted talent from other software designers, the sources pointed out.

To counter Acer’s headhunting strategy, most of the competitors are paying more attention to the personnel turnover and are providing better bonuses to attract them to stay, the sources added.

Google posts Android 3.2 SDK, sets seven-inch tablet limits [July 15, 2011]

In addition to helping create native apps, it also helps explain the new tablet support. The release is very narrow on its new tablet requirements and explains that it will be focused only on seven-inch tablets with a 1024×600 display in addition to the nine- and ten-inch tablets it saw before.Actual users will mostly see the new adaptation to sizes as well as the support for SD card media loading that Google had promised half a year ago. A new addition for zoom-in app compatibililty lets apps run on tablets that don’t work properly in the usual scaling mode.

Developers mostly get better control over how apps display their buttons and other interface elements on different-sized screens, including the earlier sizes as well as the new seven-inch form factor.

The 3.2 update is likely the last Google will post in the 3.x family before Ice Cream Sandwich. Its new OS, which may start off as 4.0, is due to bring the Android 3 interface down to the phone level and scale more gracefully without being locked into certain resolutions.

The first tablets due to ship with Android 3.2 will be seven-inch tablets optimized for it, such as Huawei’s MediaPad and Acer’s Iconia Tab A100. HTC is also due to upgrade the Flyer and get a true tablet-native interface.

From the above posts it is apparent that the 3.0 version of Honeycomb had half-baked functionality which is only now has been partially expanded. Particularly notable are the display / screen functionalities in 3.2 which show what kind of narrow support developers had before, and also the limitations they should still cope with:

 … some of the highlights of Android 3.2:

Optimizations for a wider range of tablets. A variety of refinements across the system ensure a great user experience on a wider range of tablet devices.

Compatibility zoom for fixed-sized apps. A new compatibility display mode gives users a new way to view these apps on larger devices. The mode provides a pixel-scaled alternative to the standard UI stretching, for apps that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes.

Extended screen support API. For developers who want more precise control over their UI across the range of Android-powered devices, the platform’s screen support API is extended with new resource qualifiers and manifest attributes, to also allow targeting screens by their dimensions.

From: Android 3.2 Platform and Updated SDK tools [Android Developers Blog, July 15, 2011]

The way of communicating such significant functional updates essentially needed for more general platform capability — only via a developers’ blog — is also showing how much Google’s way of delivering its Android OS is not platform-like at all. In the sense of ages old computing practices which began with IBM System 360.

End of Aug 2 Update

See also:
ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [March 8, 2011] which is describing a different strategy for the fastest growing mainland China market, with a range of smart phone products which also includes however a tablet PC albeit of different name (TD Pad or T Pad), different operating system (China Mobile’s OPhone which contains Android source code and in 3.0 version could be compatible with Android 2.3 or even 3.0) and different ARM processor (Marvell PXA 920)
CES 2011 presence with Microsoft moving to SoC & screen level slot management that is not understood by analysts/observers at all [Jan 7] where you can find a lot of details related to this post for: Acer Iconia dual screen notebook, ASUS Eee Slate, AMD Fusion APUs (of which the dual-core C-50, former codename “Ontario”, is used in the Acer Iconia Tab W500)

Acer Lowers PC Sales Goal [March 29]

Acer Inc., one of the world`s leading personal-computer venders, has unexpectedly adjusted downward its first-quarter PC sales goal to a negative annual growth of 10% from originally set positive growth of 3%.

The outlook for Acer`s PC sales is gloomy because the company`s operating net profit margin will fall under 2% in the first quarter of the year from the preceding quarter`s 2.93%, casting a cloud over its future earning performance.

Another big PC vender—Asustek Computer Inc. is also struggling to keep the bottom line to see sales cut by 10% in the first quarter from the preceding quarter.

In a news letter released by Acer, its PC sales in the first quarter will shrink 10% from the preceding quarter because of the weakened demand of the PC markets in Western Europe and the U.S.

Acer predicted it will not see positive growth for sales of PCs in the second quarter, given an optimistic projection made by institutional investors that the worldwide notebook PC market will see shipment increase by 10% in the second quarter from the preceding quarter.

Acer revised guidance to affect Compal and Wistron performance for 2Q11 [March 28]

Earlier, industry sources predicted that Compal and Wistron would see their notebook shipments grow over 10% and 15-20%, respectively, on quarter in the second quarter.

For 2011, Acer is expected to outsource 40-50% of its notebook production to Compal and another 30% to Wistron, the sources estimated.

Acer, Asustek believe tablet PC to aid 2Q11 revenues, market watchers doubt it [March 29]

Acer expects its tablet PCs, which have already started shipping in March and will have even more models to be launched in the second quarter, will see strong shipment increase in the second quarter, while Asustek expects its Eee Pad series will contribute about 5% of its second-quarter revenues.

Comparing the products to the iPad 2, both Acer and Asustek have added special functions into their machines and iPad 2 but the two vendors’ devices do not have any price advantage, while facing a big gap in brand popularity, so their sales are unlikely to benefit much, the market watchers noted.

The market watchers are already conservative about Acer’s claim that the company will ship over five million tablet PCs in 2011 and believe Asustek’s goal of shipping 1.5-2 million units will have a better chance to succeed.

Asustek unveils Android 3.0 tablet Transformer [March 28]

Asustek Computer has unveiled its first Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet PC model, the Transformer, which is equipped with a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, a 10.1-inch capacitive touch screen, a 1.2-megapixel front camera and a 5.0-megapixel rear camera, for pre-order immediately in the Taiwan market. It will debut the model in the UK on March 30 and the US in early April, according to the company.

The Transformer has an optional keyboard set for multiple extended use, Asustek indicated.

Asustek launched a 12-inch Wintel tablet PC model, the Eee Slate EP121, in January 2011. It will launch a 10-inch Android 3.0 Nividia Tegra 2 model, the Eee Pad Slider EP102, in May; and a 7-inch Android 3.0 model with 3G voice communication, the Eee Pad MeMo EP71, in June.

Asustek expects to ship 1.5-2 million units from the Eee Pad series to share 10% of total global shipments of non-iPad tablet PCs in 2011, the company said, adding of the total Eee Pad shipments in 2011, Transformer will account for at least 50%.

ASUS Tablet Computers — Providing Choice through Innovation at CeBIT 2011 [Feb 28]

Wide range of innovative tablet computers provide a variety of choices for consumers and businesses alike

CeBIT, Hanover, Germany (February 28, 2011)
— ASUS today presented a live demonstration of the four tablet devices announced earlier this year: the Eee Slate EP121, Eee Pad Transformer, Eee Pad Slider and Eee Pad MeMO. Designed for a wide range of users and applications, the models will be available with three screen sizes, and a choice of either Windows® 7 Home Premium or Google Android® operating systems for the ultimate in mobile flexibility and productivity.

Choice is essential when selecting innovative and technologically advanced personal computer devices. When it comes to tablets, there is a clear need for devices than can deliver a full multimedia experience with HD video, broad connectivity options, gaming, plus the broadest range of media compatibility with standards like Adobe Flash, all in a compact device. In short, there is demand for tablets that enable users to both consume and create content to learn, work or play.

ASUS Eee Slate EP121
The Eee Slate EP121 is designed for users who require a highly portable handheld device that can also run standard office software while multitasking with other applications. Powered with an Intel® Core™ i5 dual-core processor, the Eee Slate features a 12.1” LED-backlit display with a 1280 x 800 resolution and a wide 178° viewing angle, making it perfectly suited for both productivity applications and multimedia entertainment.

Windows® 7 Home Premium ensures full compatibility with a wide range of popular applications controlled by flexible input options thanks to the Eee Slate. The capacitive touch-screen responds instantly to fingertip control for day-to-day use, while the electromagnetic stylus offers fine precision input and control. An on-screen keyboard is also complimented by support for an external Bluetooth keyboard for traditional desktop use.

ASUS Eee Slate The Eee Slate is available with 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage (expandable via SDXC), and up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM. All models have 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 2-megapixel camera, plus two USB 2.0 ports that provide full support for a wide range of standard PC peripherals, along with a mini-HDMI port that is ideal for connecting to external displays.

The Eee Slate EP121 was recently honored with a CES 2011 Innovation Award in the Personal Electronics category, and initial sales figures showed it reaching the 3rd best-selling item in the Computers and Accessories category at Amazon.com.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
Slated for release in April, the Eee Pad Transformer comes with a slim lightweight design and 10.1” capacitive touch-screen. It is the perfect pad computer for people who want to enjoy multimedia on the move, but still wish to have easy access to the web, email and other productivity applications. A custom user interface provides easy access to the many features of the Android® 3.0 HoneyComb operating system, while the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 chipset provides full support for Adobe Flash, smooth HD video conferencing and playback, a lightning fast web experience and incredible mobile gaming performance.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with Honeycomb

An optional docking station turns the Transformer into a full-fledged notebook with a QWERTY keyboard for desktop use, while extending battery life up to 16 hours. As with the Slider, front (1.2MP) and rear (5MP) digital cameras make for easy video chat and digital photography, while a built-in mini-HDMI port makes for easy connections to external displays for full 1080p HD video playback.

ASUS Eee Pad Slider
Mobile users who want the best of both tablet and traditional notebook worlds will be well served by the Eee Pad Slider. This pad computer not only features a 10.1” IPS touch-screen for finger-friendly use, but also a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for comfortable, use-anywhere typing. It is powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the world’s most advanced mobile processor with a dual-core CPU and NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU for never-before-seen experiences on a mobile device.

ASUS Eee Pad Slider

Built-in digital cameras on the front (1.2MP) and rear (5MP) of the Slider allow for easy video chat and digital photography while the Android® 3.0 HoneyComb operating system makes sharing photos by internet, email and social media sites a breeze. The intuitive interface provides user-friendly control via the capacitive touch-screen and optional onboard 3G allows for go-anywhere internet access, making the Slider the ideal device for mobile professionals with work-oriented needs.



The Eee Pad MeMO provides the ultimate in mobile flexibility. Its 7” capacitive touch-screen makes it small enough to slip into a jacket pocket, yet still perfect for taking handwritten notes using the supplied stylus pen. The Android® 3.0 HoneyComb operating system with Qualcomm®’s dual-core Snapdragon™ offers a wide range of productivity and entertainment software, while a Micro HDMI port means the MeMO can even connect to an external display for full 1080p HD video playback. Built-in digital cameras on the front (1.2MP) and rear (5MP) of the MeMO also allow for easy video chat and digital photography, making it a convenient travel companion.

ASUS Launches the Eee Pad Transformer – An innovative tablet with an expandable keyboard dock [March 25]

ASUS today has announced the first shipments of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the best tablet choice for users looking for both media consumption and mobile productivity. Featuring an expandable keyboard docking station and combined battery life of up to 16 hours*, the Transformer is running the new Android 3.0 operating system, Honeycomb. Combining Honeycomb with ASUS’ intuitive Waveshare user interface and the most powerful hardware features available makes the Transformer an exciting portable device supporting both office work and social communication.

Powerful mini-cinema entertainment on-the-go

Powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 dual-core processor, the Transformer browses the web at blazing speeds, providing a snappier response time and better performance when multi-tasking. An IPS Panel made from durable and scratch-resistant glass is viewable at angles up to 178°, and produces a crisper and more accurate color range by up to 50% when compared to other tablets in the market. Built-in SRS Sound technology provides a dynamic 3D stereo audio experience, with maximum bass response and a wide sound field from the discrete speakers housed in the 12.98mm thick frame that weighs only 680g. A 5MP rear- and 1.2MP front-facing cameras can shoot and record video, which can be played back in video on HDTVs via a mini HDMI output port, making it a true mobile entertainment device.

Transform from pad to notebook mode with keyboard docking station

The Transformer sets itself apart from other tablets on the market by featuring an optional docking station. This provides access to a full QWERTY keyboard along with unique Android Function keys, turning the tablet Transformer into a full-fledged notebook. Preloaded on the Transformer is Polaris® Office® 3.0, a professional Mobile Office Solution which enables users to edit various types of office documents including documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentation (.ppt) files, making the Transformer very attractive for professional use. A touchpad, 3.5mm audio jack, two USB ports as well as a built-in SD Card reader for easy file sharing and storage expandability makes the Transformer a versatile media hub. In addition, the ultra-convenient ASUS WebStorage with one year of unlimited storage space provides worry-free cloud computing. The docking station also extends the Transformer’s 9.5 hours* of battery life up to 16 hours*, so users can use it all day for work and play.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS with ASUS Waveshare UI

Google’s Android Honeycomb is a revolutionary operating system specially designed and optimized for tablets, and enables users a full web experience for on-the-go web browsing, communicating and casual computing. Supporting Adobe® Flash® 10.2** and the ever growing Android Market, entertainment is a finger swipe away. The convenient ASUS Launcher also allows users to easily launch software, manage content and access online services and connect devices with a few simple taps, while ASUS’ Waveshare Interface hosts a variety of unique applications such as MyNet, MyLibrary, MyCloud and more. MyNet easily streams digital media wirelessly within home network devices so HD videos or music can be played on devices such as an HDTV or desktop PCs for an even better experience from the Transformer. MyLibrary consolidates downloaded books, magazines and newspapers in to one easy to browse profile while MyCloud is a total cloud solution, providing access to digital content such as music, videos and files from the cloud anywhere, anytime. Users can even use MyCloud to remotely access and control any PC or Mac system and access applications or files to extend the versatility of the Eee Pad Transformer experience.
*9.5 and 16 hour battery life estimated under certain conditions.
**Adobe® Flash® 10.2 support requires an upgrade available online.


  1. Mobile Productivity with docking station (Full QWERTY KB and touchpad, up to 16 hours of battery life, Unlimited ASUS WebStorage)
  2. Mini-Cinema Entertainment (Brilliant IPS panel with 178⁰ viewing angle, HDMI support, NVIDIA® Tegra™2 1.0 GHz dual-core CPU)
  3. Trendsetting Tablet Experience (Android 3.0 OS for tablets, Flash support, thousand of applications on Android Market )

Asus EEE Pad Slider Tablet Hands-On (Honeycomb) @ Cebit 2011, Hannover, Germany [March 6.]

Brand-new tablet from Asus: OS based on Android 3.0 Honeycomb, 1.2 Mpx front and 5 Mpx back-cameras, 10.1 inches IPS LCD, nVidia Tegra 2 CPU & GPU. And a slider QWERTY keyboard in its thin design. It will be available in April and priced around 499-799 EUR in Europe.

Asus Eee Pad Slider Full Specifications And Price Details [March 6]

3G Network
2G Network
Form Factor QWERTY-Slider
L x B x H 273 x 180 x 17.7mm
Weight 886 grams
Type IPS Capacitive touchscreen
Size 7 inch
Colors & Resolution 16 Million Colors & 1280 x 800 Pixels
Input/ User Interface
Input Full Slide-out QWERTY Keyboard
Multi Touch
Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
System Properties
Operating System Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS
CPU 1GHz Dual-Core Nvidia Tegra 2 Processor
1GB / 512MB RAM
Memory Storage
Internal Memory 16GB/ 32GB memory storage
Memory Expansion
Browser & Messaging HTML, Flash
SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email and IM
Still – 5 Megapixels
– 2592 x 1944 pixels
– LED Flash, Auto Focus
Secondary – 1.3 Megapixels
– 1280 x 1024 pixels
Video Recording Capability – 1080p HD video recording capability @ 30fps
– 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Bluetooth & USB Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR & v2.0 micro USB
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Headset 3.5mm stereo headset jack
3G Yes
Music & Video
Music Format MP3, WMA
Video Format MPEG4, H.263, H.264
Type Li-Ion 25WH Standard battery
Battery Life 6 Hours Running
Other Features 1080p HD video playback
Micro HDMI Connector
My Wave UI
Optional onboard 3G
Adobe 10.1 Flash compatibility
Facebook integration
Android Market, G-mail, Google Maps, G-Talk
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa
Quickoffice, Digital compass
Colors Black

Price & Availability

Asus Eee Pad Slider will be available from May at a price ranging from $500 to $800.

Tablet PC Competition to Benefit Taiwanese Firms [March 25]

With PC vendors heavily promoting tablets to trigger more fierce competition in the marketplace, Taiwanese PC and related parts and component manufacturers are expected to benefit from the market boom this year.

Starting with Apple Inc.`s iPad 2G, launched on March 25 in 25 countries of the world and seen as a blockbuster for its upgraded specifications at a comparatively low unit price of US$499, more than 100 tablet models from different PC and handset vendors will be available in the market in the second quarter of this year.

In addition to existing players as Apple, Motorola and Samsung, others, including Taiwan`s Acer, Asustek, HTC, and MSI and the U.S.`s Dell and HP, will also join the competition starting the end of March.

For instance, Asustek`s Eee Pad is slated for launch around the end of March will sell for US$399 to US$699 per unit, and Acer`s Iconia will also be available starting in April, which will be built with a 2.1GHz dual-core processor with different price tags from US$299 to US$699.

Market observers estimate about 60 million tablet PCs will be sold worldwide throughout the year, with Apple to contribute 35-40 million units as the No.1 vendor.

Riding on the market booms, Taiwanese PC manufacturers, such as Hon Hai Group, Quanta Computer Inc., Compal Electronics Inc., Wistron Corp., Inventec Corp., Pegatron Corp., etc., will surely capture a big slice of the huge market pie this year.

Among them, Hon Hai Group is expected to emerge as the biggest winner in the competition landscape, as it has secured Apple`s contract orders on hand and revved up production in China for the client. In the meantime, Quanta and Compal, the world`s top two notebook PC suppliers, have shared Acer`s manufacturing orders for iconia, while Pegatron has garnered Asustek`s order for Eee Pad Transformer.

Also, HP`s tablet running Web OS and going on sale in June will be supplied by Inventec. Dell`s Android 3.0-installed model has been mass produced by Qista Corp, and RIM`s PlayBook has also been set for production by Quanta.

Makers of PC parts and components have also benefited from the tablet competition, such as TPK Holding Co., Ltd. and Wintek Corp. (touch panels), Largan Precision Co., Ltd. (optical lens modules), Simplo Technology Co., Ltd. and Dynapack International Technology Corp. (batteries), Unimicron Technology Corp. and Tripod Technology Corp. (high-density interconnection boards), etc.

Acer’s new ICONIA Tab W500: the best from PCs, the best from tablets [Feb 14, 2011]
2011-02-14 – Barcelona

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Docking Station

Fun and productivity, entertainment and work. Our lives are made of different sides, that seamlessly blend one into the other. The devices we use should reflect this flexibility and ability to multitask, allowing us to enjoy and share content as well as be productive when there is the need.

This is why Acer created the ICONIA TAB W500, with an innovative design that effectively combines the best of two worlds: tablet and PC.

Capable of reconciling the opposites, ICONIA TAB W500 brings together the user-friendliness of the tablet with the familiarity of the PC, letting users enjoy the greatest entertainment or be productive, at home or on the go, according to their needs. The ICONIA TAB W500 effectively creates a bridge between the worlds of entertainment and productivity.

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Docking Station and the Ring user interface

How? Acer ICONIA TAB W500 is a 10.1-inch multi-touch screen tablet that is complemented by a full-size chiclet docking keyboard. Calling the Acer ICONIA TAB W500 simply a tablet would be reductive. While the high-resolution screen, together with Dolby® optimized audio, are synonyms of fabulous entertainment, the handy docking keyboard is perfect for productivity.

The Acer ICONIA TAB is the perfect device for users who want to enjoy a flawless touch experience, but are not ready to retire the keyboard yet. The full-size chiclet keyboard doubles as a docking station providing optimal ergonomics and extended connectivity; plus it features the Acer FineTrack™ pointing device with two buttons for convenient navigation, an Ethernet port for fast Internet connections, and a USB port for external devices.

You can count on the Acer ICONIA TAB W500 to keep you updated on what’s going in your social networks, or have the latest news at your fingertips, check your mails or watch a movie on the fly, review a presentation or enjoy fun touch games. This is the beauty of having a multi-touch screen tablet that seamlessly transforms into a PC simply by docking it!

Acer Iconia Dual-Screen Notebook with Acer Ring

Starting point of the ICONIA TAB W500 touch experience is the Acer Ring. Easy to launch with a simple grab gesture, it offers immediate access to all the special features and touch application pre-loaded on Acer ICONIA TAB W500.

Utilities in the Acer Ring include Clean Disk, to manage and optimize disk space; Snipping Tool, to quickly select, tag and clip screen images; Device Control, to fine tune the tablet settings; Camera, to launch Acer Crystal Eye Webcam; Calculator and Game, to reach the games stored on Acer ICONIA TAB W500 in a breeze.

The Acer Ring also features a series of AppCards to effortlessly browse through and launch useful touch applications:

  • TouchBrowser, designed to provide a better user experience, it lets you search, open, resize, select content from the web with the tips of your fingers.
  • SocialJogger,
  • My Journal, where you can collect web clips that are dynamically updated to keep you posted on any news in the websites you find interesting.
  • clear.fi to search, share, and playback favourite music, photo, and video.

Acer clear.fi is Acer media sharing system that lets you enjoy your multimedia content across your home quickly and effortlessly. Thanks to clear.fi and the HDMI port your can stream and appreciate the multimedia stored on Acer ICONIA TAB W500 on any of the devices connected to your home network and clear.fi enabled.

Running on Windows 7 OS, Acer ICONIA TAB [W500] is equipped with AMD C-50 processor and AMD Radeon™ HD6250 graphics, for excellent visuals and gaming. Easy communication is a given with the ICONIA TAB W500, thanks to multiple connectivity options including Wi-Fi, 3G (on selected models) or Bluetooth® 3.0. To top it off, the dual, back and front, Acer Crystal Eye 1.3MP webcam, not only allows you to engage in video chats or video calls with your friends, it also enables you to record HD videos and share them on Facebook or YouTube.

Acer ICONIA -- Absolute Touch Experience
Acer Iconia absolute touch experience with Acer Ring

Acer’s ICONIA TAB A500 [Feb 14]
Full touch experience in HD
2011-02-14 – Barcelona

Mobility and innovation, which have always been part of Acer’s DNA, now find a new form of expression in the new Acer ICONIA TAB A500, a 10.1-inch tablet designed to maximize content enjoyment, providing the same rich multimedia, gaming and Web experience you can enjoy on your home PC with the added user-friendliness of multi-touch technology.

Sleek, smart and full of innovative features, the ICONIA Tab A500 will be equipped with the latest, highly intuitive Google Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system, the new version of the Android platform specifically optimized for tablets, combined with Acer UI to reach a whole new level of interactivity.

What’s more, the Acer clear.fi media sharing system will be preloaded on the device for seamless integration in the home clear.fi environment to easily access, play and share multimedia across the home network and to instantly publish updates to social media networks.

Designed for rich multimedia entertainment, this tablet comes with a high resolution, high colour contrast 10.1” display with wide viewing angle providing higher colour accuracy for better visuals from different perspective, allowing users to play or share HD video with friends on the go. Complete with a built-in HDMI port and 1080p output, it may also be used to enjoy HD content in full HD on a big screen TV or monitor.

The 10.1” full capacitive multi-touch screen ensures an optimal on-screen experience from every angle. Aluminum casing provides a cool look and feel, while its high gloss finish anodizing decorated with laser engraved textures demonstrates subtle sophistication. And despite being just 13.3mm thick, it’s powerful enough to provide fun and productivity in any location.

One of the tablet’s most impressive features is its ability to run and play premium HD arcade games and complex online 3D games, thanks to the multi-touch screen and gyro meter control, which guarantees an entertainment experience on par with the best game consoles.

The Acer ICONIA TAB A500 will be equipped with the dual-core NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the first mobile dual core CPU, that delivers up to two time faster browsing, for the best web experience ever, and amazing graphics, for optimized HD viewing, 3D and console-quality gaming, and multimedia playback anywhere thanks to the ultra-low power (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU with Flash 10.1 support. What’s more you can relish movies, photos and more on your big screen TV in full HD glory thanks to 1080p HD video playback.

Multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, 3G or Bluetooth® 2.1, maximise your mobile experience and keep you in touch with all you care about. The 5MP rear-facing camera plus HD front-facing camera are just perfect for video recording, video chat, or quickly snap a picture and upload it to Facebook, YouTube, Picasa; it can also be used as a barcode scanner

Available April 2011.

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android Tablet Honeycomb [Gaming] Demo [March 28]

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Android Tablet Honeycomb Demo

Acer aims to ship 5-7 million tablet PCs in 2011 [March 24]

Telecom service provider AT&T has announced that it will carry Acer’s Iconia Tab A501 4G tablet PC. Acer expects tablet PC shipments in 2011 to reach 5-7 million units, and aims to grab a 10% share of the global market, according to company chairman JT Wang.

The Iconia Tab A501 supports a 10.1-inch panel, Android 3.0 and Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. The device is scheduled to hit the market in the second quarter.

Verizon Wireless reportedly is interested in Acer’s other tablet PC, the Iconia Tab A500, according to industry sources.

Acer to Penetrate U.S. Market with 4G Tablet PC [March 25]

Suffering a sharp shrinkage in sales of netbook PCs in the U.S. due to the rise of Apple Inc.`s iPad, Acer is forced to switch focus onto tablet PCs and hence decides to join hands with AT&T, one of Apple`s major telecom partners, to fight back against the competitor, noted market observers.

The biggest functional features of the device include its interconnection with TVs and a built-in 4G LTE (long term evolution) modem. The device will be promoted along with AT&T launching its LTE services, with the selling price having yet to be determined.

To accelerate its foray into the emerging segment, the firm is scheduled to launch its first Android 3.0 tablet, Picasso, by the end of March, which, the firm`s Taiwan president Scott Lin confirmed, has been popularly ordered by retailers so far, according to the firm`s Taiwan president Scott Lin.

Acer Iconia Tab A500

AT&T Network to Support Acer’s High Performance,Android-Powered 4G Tablet [March 22]
10.1-inch, HD Ready, Android 3.0 4G Device Launching Q2 2011
Dallas, Texas, March 22, 2011

AT&T*, today announced plans to support Acer’s first 4G tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A501, on the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network beginning this summer.

The 10 inch Acer Iconia Tab A501 will feature the Android 3.0 operating system with Android Marketplace, and an NVIDIA Tegra 250 1GHz dual core processor with integrated graphics for the fastest HD gaming, web and multimedia experience.

Designed for both consumers and small business customers, the tablet will also sport a high-resolution display with a wide viewing angle to view super sharp video and other multimedia content.  It will come equipped with a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a high definition front-facing camera for video chat, and an HDMI port for playing 1080p video on a high definition big screen TV.

“Consumers are seeking cutting-edge mobile computing devices and we look forward to giving them another great choice with the Acer Iconia Tab A501,” said David Haight, vice president of business development, AT&T Emerging Devices. “This tablet is packed with features that will enable HD gaming and exceptional video playback. It offers a first-class on-the-go entertainment experience.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with AT&T on mobile solutions that allow consumers to remain connected and entertained in any environment,” said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing, Acer America.  “The Acer Iconia Tab A501 combined with AT&T’s wireless service enables consumers to enjoy their favorite movies, games, blogs and social networking sites on the go.”

Distribution and pricing will be announced at launch, expected in the second quarter.

Acer’s ICONIA TAB A100 [March 14]
Mobility at its best
2011-02-14 – Barcelona

Whether you are into gaming, social network or enjoying your multimedia on the go, the new Acer ICONIA TAB A100 is your dream come true. Stylish and compact, this 7” tablet offers unrivalled portability and matches it with the ultimate high performance, taking your mobile experience to the next level.

The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 primary focus is on providing a truly rich user experience. This is why it will be equipped with Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”, the new Android operating system specifically optimized for tablets. On the home page, resources are grouped into four main content usages, within easy reach of your fingertips:

  • Games Zone: here you can find a variety of compelling preloaded games – online 3D, console and casual – that you’ll certainly enjoy.
  • eReading, where you can find the tools you need to download or read magazines and books. Magazines with Zinio, books with Nook and LumiRead.
  • Multimedia groups all the apps you need to enjoy music, videos and photos.
  • SNS brings your social life together. Not only you can find the links to Facebook, Twitter, but also Acer SocialJogger that lets you check, post and update all of your accounts at a glance.

Also pre-loaded on the Acer ICONIA TAB is clear.fi, the Acer media sharing system that enables the seamless integration of the device in the home clear.fi environment to easily access, play and share multimedia across the home network and to instantly publish updates to social media networks.

Acer ICONIA -- A100 Android Tablet

To provide a truly outstanding user experience, a device must have a powerful engine. The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 will be powered the dual-core NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2, the first mobile dual core CPU, that delivers up to two time faster browsing, for the best web experience ever. Plus, the ultra-low power (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU with Flash 10.1 support, ensures amazing graphics for optimized HD viewing, 3D and console-quality gaming, and multimedia playback anywhere. What’s more you can relish movies, photos and more on your big screen TV in full HD glory thanks to 1080p HD video playback.

Don’t be fooled by size of the screen. On this 7” (1024×600) full touch screen tablet with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can enjoy photos, videos and movies as well as read books and magazines, and most impressively you’ll be able to run and play premium HD arcade games and complex online 3D games, thanks to the multi-touch screen and gyro meter control, for a gaming experience on par with the best consoles.

The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 is also a joy for the ears. Complete with Dolby Mobile technology providing rich vibrant audio with extended bass performance and added depth, this tablet takes the entertainment experience to a new level. To top off the rich entertainment experience, the ICONIA TAB A100 comes with a 5MP auto-focus rear camera, to capture you’re life best moments and quickly upload them to your social networks, and a 2MP front-facing camera to engage in live chat with your friends.

Multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, 3G or Bluetooth® 2.1, maximise your mobile experience and keep you in touch with all you care about. Complete with a built-in HDMI port and 1080p output, it may also be used to enjoy HD content in full HD on a big screen TV or monitor, while a full-size and a mini USB help connecting the ICONIA TAB A100 to other devices.

Compact and stylish, is easy to handle and flaunts a trendy back cover embellished by an eye-catching pattern.

Discover a new world of interaction with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100!

Acer to Dismiss 10% of Employees in China [March 28]

To enhance operating efficiency of its PC business unit in China, the Taiwan-based Acer Inc., one of the world`s top three PC vendors now, is going to cut 10% of employees in the country, according to the firm.

Acer acquired the PC business unit from China`s Founder Technology Group for NT$120 million last August as a strategic move to penetrate the Chinese market. The strategy has worked, as the Taiwanese firm effectively pushed up its share to 8.6% to rank as the second-largest brand by overall PC sales in the market in the fourth quarter of 2010, only next to Lenovo. During the same period, the firm also ranked No.3 in terms of notebook PC sales.

Top 5 PC Brands in China in Q4, 2010
Ranking Brand Market Share
1 Lenovo 30.10%
2 Acer 8.60%
3 Dell 7.20%
4 HP 7.20%
5 Asus 5.20%

Source: Gartner



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