Update: Acer has issued a press release saying that tablets will not be replacing netbooks. "According to recent statement from Sales Manager based in Taiwan, Acer Inc. confirms that the company will not phase out netbooks in favor of tablets. Acer recognizes that the computer market is changing. As PCs are no longer only used to create content but are more and more becoming consumption tools, new devices and new form factors are appearing. This means the range of devices available to users is getting wider and tablets are just another piece of the mosaic. Therefore, they will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks." The original article is below.
Taiwanese computer maker Acer is phasing out its netbook computers with the forthcoming release of its tablets, which are due in the first half of 2011. The move is particularly significant for Acer, given that the company saw very rapid growth and profitability mostly thanks to its various netbook offerings.
Acer's upcoming tablets will begin a gradual replacement of its netbooks, in line with market demands, Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-hsian told Computerworld. "They are aimed at phasing out netbooks," Bing-hsian said. "That's the direction of the market." Acer will keep making netbooks, adding to its millions sold to date, but the company will stick to simple models and manufacture fewer than in previous years as tablets gain popularity, he said. The company sales manager also confirmed that the tablets will use Intel's new Sandy Bridge four-core processors, will run Android, and will have 7-inch or 10-inch screens.
We've known for a while now that the company was pushing tablets, but it was never clear that netbooks would be left by the wayside. New Acer tablets shipped two months ago, starting at just $300. That same month, the company outlined plans for even more tablets, in Android and Windows flavors.