TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Acer is ramping down production of its Aspire One netbooks to focus on manufacturing tablets, according to DigiTimes' always-elusive anonymous insiders. Sources from touchscreen makers have told the site that the Taiwanese system builder has set an aggressive production target for April 2011, ordering 400,000 to 500,000 10.1-inch touchscreens for the month.
While Apple has occupied much of the touchscreen supply, certain Taiwan-based first-tier touchscreen manufacturers like TPL Holding are still willing to feed Acer panels. Earlier this month, analysts estimated that Apple controlled roughly 60% of the touchscreen capacity, moving quickly to secure deals following the Japanese earthquake. Despite Cupertino's grip on the market, Acer has been able to achieve 60 to 70% of its shipment forecast.
Although Acer is scaling down its netbook production and it expects its PC shipments to fall 10% sequentially in the second quarter, the company intends to crank out traditional notebooks at the usual pace. That projection is reportedly keeping Acer's suppliers optimistic about its second-quarter performance. Nonetheless, the company's stock price has dropped 46% since the fourth quarter of last year and it plans to address investors' concerns on April 28.
DigiTimes also hears that Acer plans to launch a 14.1-inch notebook featuring LG's ultra-thin Shuriken panel as early as next month. In addition to being significantly thinner, the Shuriken reduces the panel frame's width from 1.2cm to 8mm, allowing the 14.1-inch screen to fit inside a 13.3-inch body. It's also about 50% more expensive than traditional notebook panels, so you can expect to pay a premium as with the MacBook Air and competing machines.