updated 08:10 am EDT, Wed October 27, 2010
Acer plans last-minute tablet intro in NYC Nov. 23
Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci in an interview today revealed that the company's long-mentioned Android tablets should finally be unveiled at a special event in New York City on November 23. He didn't provide details of the hardware beyond the already-known seven-inch model, but pricing would start at $299 and range up to $699, hinting at multiple sizes. The launch may have a US focus but will be global, Lanci told Dow Jones.
Previous rumors have had Acer trying three models, including a five-inch competitor to the Dell Streak, a seven-inch model with a hardware keyboard and a 10-inch version. They may use as much as a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 and may use the Gingerbread build of Android, which was just completed almost exactly a month before Acer's event.
The designs are known to be responses to the iPad, which caught Acer off-guard in January and led it to show tablet plans in May to prove it would have a response. Since then, executives have been keen to downplay the iPad as much as possible despite a global slowdown in netbook sales. Early estimates have had Apple equaling or beating Acer in US computer share as part of a larger drop worldwide.
Lanci had a guarded view on results and noted that computer sales hadn't slowed down in the developing world, where the iPad isn't being sold. Western European results were recovering, but US demand remained "soft." Acer may ultimately depend more on China in the long term, as the CEO anticipated the country making up a fifth of all of Acer's revenue by 2013.
Possible 10-inch tablet