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Acer founder insists tablets a fad again, MacBook Air too

updated 08:35 am EDT, Fri August 5, 2011

Acer's Shih still convinced tablets just temporary

Acer's creator Stan Shih tried to stir controversy Friday with remarks once again trying to dismiss primarily Apple-driven technology. He called tablets like the iPad, and now the ultrabook category created by the MacBook Air, "short-term phenomena" that would go away. The conventional PC was the cornerstone of technology; not only did the tablet and smartphone come from the PC, but everything had to go through it to make value, Digitimes recounts him as saying.

Apple was succeeding with the iPad primarily through "outside-the-box thinking," Shih said, and it was something that notebook makers should learn. He didn't explain the self-contradiction of praising a company for being innovative with tablets but insisting it was wrong to take that direction.

Touching on his former company, he thought the Acer Iconia Tab A100 would foster competition by putting more emphasis on price. It wasn't clear why he was encouraging Acer to continue in a field he had dismissed.

The comments as a whole were consistent with a pattern of attempts to primarily dismiss Apple's success, which he called a mutant virus last September. Heeding Shih's advice has so far proven dangerous for Acer. The company fell from second to fourth in PCs precisely because it didn't take competition from the iPad seriously.

Acer's fall was fast enough that the company ousted CEO Gianfranco Lanci earlier this year and refocused its entire mobile strategy, making tablets and phones important while moving its notebook strategy away from netbooks and cheap notebooks to higher-quality systems. The company is believed to be one of those in the first wave of those following Intel's ultrabook guidelines, suggesting that it's ignoring Shih's advice and planning to replicate the success of the MacBook Air.

By Electronista Staff


  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Thanks goodness.....

    that he's not an occult leader...... was he the one predicted the second coming of Christ?

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000



    You are delusional. The iPad has literally changed the way I live. A lot, and I mean a lot, of things I used to do on the computer I now do on my iPad. It feels more natural and it is easy to use in a variety of circumstances, easy to transport, and easier on the hands and wrists. Maybe it's not for everyone (not sure about that) but I actually enjoy the digital life more now. Yes some things need a 'traditional' computer to do effectively, but half of what I do is now on my iPad.

    Have fun storming the castle...

  1. SergioRS

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004


    Meanwhile in Taipei

    Acer stock is down 61.49% from Jan 1 - can we start calling them beleaguered now?

  1. macnnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    if nothing else works

    bury your head in the sand and blame someone else for your troubles.

  1. vintagegeek

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007



    How'd you like to work for this sure he didn't come from RIM??

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    What is this man's problem???

    Analysts keep upping tablet sales figures for the next few years and businesses seem to be adapting iPads relatively quickly. Sure, the analysts could be wrong since they were certainly wrong about the increase of Windows netbooks in the industry and they were badly wrong.

    However, I know for certain this dude is dead wrong about ultraportables such as the MacBook Air. Consumers will love them for their portability, quick start capabilities and battery life. If he doesn't see that, then he'd be better off giving his position to someone that understands what consumers are looking for. The MacBook Air-class notebook reference model is here to stay for the long-haul.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Could be right

    He could be 100% correct. But even if he is right, by the time the "fad" ends...Acer will be out of business.

  1. facebook_Richard

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011



    This guy is the Oxford definition of bat s*** crazy.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008


    If tablets and ultrabooks are a fad...

    ...and the spawn of a "mutant virus," then why does Acer make tablets and ultrabooks?

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2009


    me too boxes

    The PC world is full of a bunch of box assemblers all trying to make their box meaningful. That's all Acer is. Have they developed/invented anything meaningful or are they just trying to push out the next fancy box? Price isn't everything. Quality of build, functionality, longevity of parts, and of course, it's ability to run proper software properly are all important and in many case more important that bottom line cost of materials. Apple provides the proper mix of these for me. I have never seen an Acer computing device that I would actually buy and it appears a lot of other people are feeling the same way.

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