2011 was touted as the Year of the Tablet and with the avalanche of slates launched at CES and Mobile World Congress earlier in the year, it seemed as this was destined to be true. However, with Acer announcing it is reducing its target for tablet shipments by 60 percent, maybe 2011 won’t after all be Year of the Tablet.
Back at Mobile World Congress in February, Acer launched three Iconia tablets, the Android-running A100 and A500 as well as the Windows-based W500. Then, just for good measure, it announced a MeeGo tablet called the Iconia M500. But despite this seemingly confident stride into the tablet world, at a shareholder meeting today, chairman JT Wang outlined the disappointing revised predictions for the rest of 2011. Wang told reporters after the meeting that the new target for tablet shipments this year was 2.5 to 3 million units, much lower than the 5 to 7 million units target set at the beginning of the year.
"The third quarter will be considerably more stable. It will be similar to the second quarter or better," Wang said after the meeting. Acer is hoping to sell 800,000 tablets in each of the second and third quarters. Last month, the world's number two PC manufacturer posted a 29.2 percent drop in total sales and as a result share prices have plunged by 30 percent since the end of March. When you consider that the original iPad sold 3 million units in the first 80 days alone, it is clear to see how much Acer is struggling. Back in April, we reported that the Motorola Xoom was having similar issues with sales, with reports claiming it had sold only 100,000 units in six weeks. It seems as if the tidal wave of tablet sales has not happened for most manufacturers and we could see them going back to the drawing board to see just how they will sell these slates.