"The report of my death is an exaggeration." So said Mark Twain back at the end of the 19th century and Acer has now said something very similar regarding reports of the death of its netbook range.
In various media outlets (though not here we may point out) over the past couple of days, it had been reported that Acer were going to phase out its netbook range and replace them completely with tablets – and not just any tablets. The reports also suggested that Acer was ready to bring two Sandy Bridge-powered Android tablets to market by July of this year. Big news then. Only, it's not and Acer are not. A statement issued yesterday evening said that the reports were erroneous and it was not planning phasing out netbooks or bringing Sandy Bridge tablets to market.
The reports emanated from remarked attributed to Acer’s Taiwan-based Sales Manager, Lu Bing-hsian who reportedly said: "They are aimed at phasing out netbooks. That’s the direction of the market." However last night the company statement said: “According to recent statement from Sales Manager based in Taiwan, Acer Inc. confirms that the company is not aiming to phase out netbooks in favor of tablets.” And to add further humiliation to Lu, Acer said: “For the moment devices based on Sandy Bridge are not foreseen yet.” We imagine Lu will be getting a call to report to his boss pretty soon.
Acer announced at a big event in New York last November they were planning a trio of tablets in the coming year: a 10.1in Windows, a 10.1in Android and a 7in Android. We are still awaiting names, release dates and pricing for these devices. However according to Acer, it sees the tablet having a place all its own in the computing world: “As PCs are no longer used to only 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, without taking over.” That seems pretty clear then.