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Acer says netbooks won't die as prices plunge to beat iPad

updated 11:10 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2010

Acer insists netbooks stable in face of iPad

Acer Taiwan's president Scott Lin today insisted at a press conference that netbooks would survive in the face of tablets like the iPad despite signs to the contrary. He believed the dual-core Atom N550 would keep the category going as it gave about 50 percent more performance without hiking the cost, giving users a reason to pick one over a tablet. About 40 million netbooks would ship in 2010, or about 20 percent of the entire notebook arena, Lim told Digitimes and others at the event.

The executive was still cautious about the future and didn't see netbooks gaining any share in 2011, although Acer might still reap benefits as Dell and HP weren't pushing as hard for sales as before. Only ASUS would be poised to claim the most of what would be left.

Lim's comments were contradicted the same day by reports from the same region. PC builders and resellers are allegedly dropping prices in direct reaction to Apple's tablet. Acer's Android and Windows dual-booting netbook, the Aspire One D255, has dropped to the equivalent of $288. A 10-inch Lenovo IdeaPad now costs $317, while a barebones ASUS 10-inch Eee PC has dropped to $282. Few systems that aren't completely new cost more than $320, retailers said.

They also disputed Acer's faith in the Atom N550, as many of the companies weren't actively promoting the faster chip.

Signs have emerged so far elsewhere in the world that largely run against Lim's beliefs. Best Buy just this week noted that netbook sales dropped by nearly half after the iPad took hold at its stores and is planning to expand sales to all its chains. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has also said that growth has reversed in the US coinciding roughly with the April debut of the Apple slate.

By Electronista Staff


  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    the apple *slate* ???

    Nice timely reporting there, MacNN (as usual).

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    They won't die. They will just disappear

    If a product is not made/born, then it wouldn't die; therefore, the netbooks would just disappear and not die.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    They're still assuming that consumers have

    some sort of love affair with Windows but I doubt that's the case. I think many consumers are looking for an alternative and that's why they like the iPad for its simplicity and ease of use. It seems to me that the drawing card of netbooks is their low price yet the iPad has drawing power even though it cost more. I'm not doubting that netbooks are still useful, but then again so are simple tablets. I'd rather go for a higher end notebook rather than some netbook because it would be more powerful and have a bigger display. We'll see how well the netbook category is doing by June of next year.

  1. bazaarsoft

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    It's the software, stupid

    When will these idiots realize it's not tablet hardware vs netbook hardware - it's tablet software vs netbook software, and as long as the netbooks are running windows, they're gonna lose.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Where did these guys learn business?

    Business is about "PROFIT" not VOLUME. You cannot "make it up on volume" when the majority of your costs are fixed costs from third party suppliers like MSFT. There is a chance that they might be able to break even but quite likely that they will lose money on each unit regardless of the "VOLUME".

  1. AmiGod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    It's a game

    Watch this, Acer will reduce the prices of its netbooks to cut back on its losses against Apple's iPads, and all of a sudden, Apple will reduce the prices of its iPads. And then Acer will once again huff an puff because all those who originally couldn't afford an iPad - and wanted one - will suddenly be able to afford one. I already know of many who are waiting for the prices to drop ... myself included. I don't know of anyone who wants a netbook.

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