Acer betting on Windows 7, Android to address enterprise, consumer markets

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Taiwanese PC manufacturer Acer is betting on both the Windows 7 and Android operating systems (OS) with its new range of tablets, as it believes both can best serve the enterprise and mass consumer space respectively, Acer's Chile sales manager, Carlos Jiménez, told BNamericas.

The company launched in Colombia and Chile its Iconia Tab W500, a tablet that comes with Windows 7 installed, which Jiménez said is best suited for professional use.

This week the company will also launch the A500, a tablet aimed at the mass consumer and which comes with Android. This shows that Acer is not married to any particular OS, but rather chooses the one it feels best suits the device and target market, the executive said.

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"Windows 7 has clear advantages in the areas of productivity and interoperability, and there is a market today for that type of product. There are people that need the same applications they have with Windows 7. And they can have them on this tablet without major changes; it's an automatic transformation," Jiménez said.

"We know that Android is coming very strong. Acer is also working very closely with Android, and it has very interesting functionality - that is why we are betting on both.... The A500 is a device that is more focused on entertainment," he added.

The Iconia Tab W500 is already available in Mexico and next week will be launched in Peru.

Jiménez would not reveal market share numbers, but said the competitive environment in Chile's PC market had heated up in the last year with fierce competition from the likes of Samsung, unleashing a price war.

The Iconia Tab W500 comes with a 10.1-inch screen, a keyboard and a keyboard dock. Other accessories include an external hard drive and an external CD reader.

Other features built into the chassis include HDMI and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Though embedded 3G models exist, they will not be introduced in Latin America for the moment, Jiménez said. He added that there is little difference in performance of a tablet with embedded 3G and one that uses an external 3G modem, but that the difference in price is significant.