According to reports, Acer's CEO Gianfranco Lanci showed off a tablet device during a company press conference recently. Lanci did not provide many details on the forthcoming device, dubbed LumiRead, other than to say it will arrive in the fourth quarter and will provide ereader functions, with storage for around 1,500 books.
While an ereader falls outside most "media tablet" definitions, the news does highlight Acer's ambitions to parlay its netbook expertise--and its budding smartphone efforts--into additional gadgets.
Indeed, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said the firm predicts that, by 2012, more tablets will ship than netbooks. And by 2015, one in five PCs sold to consumers in the U.S. will be a tablet. Thus, to retain its momentum in netbooks, Acer may well have to expand into tablets.
"It's important for companies playing in this space to appeal to all types of consumers," said IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian. Acer would be "hedging their bets" with a tablet play.