Back in November, unnamed sources from the "upstream supply chain" said that Acer, Asus, and other big-name PC vendors will gradually phase out of the tablet sector in 2012. This assumption was based on poor sales of current tablet offerings, a lack of strong content support, and highly competitive price points offered by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others.
But Acer founder Stan Shih is denying any kind of "phase out," reporting that the company will release new Android-based models in 2012. He acknowledged that both Acer's tablet and smartphone businesses haven't performed well, but he also said it wasn't time to throw in the towel. He compared the company's struggling entry into both sectors to the troubles it encountered when first entering the notebook market.
On Monday Shih indicated that Acer's board of directors had agreed to limit its upcoming smartphone and tablet offerings down to just a few niche, competitive products rather than a wide array of models. There's also indication that Acer will simplify production by merging the tablet and smartphone divisions, thus increasing operation efficiency, consolidating resources and reducing conflicts in product development.
According to Shih, this consolidation of tablet and smartphone manufacturing doesn't mean the company will lay off employees, but merely fewer product models on the market. If all goes according to plan, Acer will expand its tablet and smartphone business operations at a later date when needed.