Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

Summary: Are tablets here to stay or are they a passing trend? Acer's founder thinks they're surrounded by a lot of hype.

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Acer founder Stan Shih isn't absolutely sold on the idea of tablet PCs and ultrabooks as the future of mobile and computing products.

DigiTimes reports that Shih argued that the "fads for ultrabooks and tablet PCs are both short-term phenomena and urged companies in the notebook supply chain to come out with more value-added products through innovation."

Commenting on Apple bringing tablet PC and smartphone products into the PC market to compete with PC players and creating a great impact on PC demand, Shih pointed out that PCs are the base of the IT industry and tablet PCs are also developed from the base; therefore, in the future, products will still need to go through the PC platform to create even more add-on value.

However, Shih did offer some credit to Apple and its "outside-the-box thinking" when developing the iPad, which is a sentiment shared by many as iSuppli recently published a report stating that tablet manufacturers have been unable to successfully compete with the iPad's design.

It's slightly surprising to see Shih make these comments as Acer is expected to deliver a new 7-inch tablet soon, but they also come across as quite bitter after the lukewarm reception for the Iconia A500.

Shih has stirred up a bit of controversy with comments in the past. For example, last year, he questioned the strength and stability of American IT brands, posing the theory that "US computer brands may disappear over the next 20 years."

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Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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52 comments
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  • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

    Acer, the company whose laptops die in less than 6 months.
    tatiGmail
    • Agree; they produce smelly plastic junk that half dead very soon

      @tatiGmail: Obviously, not always and people sometimes get products from them that last, but usually it is just trash.

      And, by the way, this Shih claimed in early December of 2010 that "iPad sales are declining" right in the quarter where sales jumped from 4 to 7 million.

      <b>This man is systematically delusional.</b>
      DDERSSS
      • Maybe he's basing his prediction off of Acer sales

        @DeRSSS
        and if people aren't buying Acer tablets, he's assuming it's because nobody wants tablets. ;)
        William Farrell
    • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

      @tatiGmail
      Indeed, my experience with their customer service was a horror...
      And this man's so called "vision" isn't very promising for Acer's future
      carronp@...
    • I had an Acer monitor that works fine

      @tatiGmail
      But will never buy Acer PC, Vizio TV.

      Tablet without keyboard may be a fad, but ultrapc is absolutely not. A keyboard attached to tablet (well, that is called pc) is still most people's favorite.

      btw, I do have a traditional tablet -- convertible, and like it.
      FADS_z
    • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

      What is the basis of his opinion?
      MarCad Class 1462
    • Acer &quot;laptops die in less than 6 months&quot;?

      @tatiGmail
      Where is your proof to back up that claim? If it's personal experience, what are you doing with your laptops?

      I purchased my Acer Aspire 3500 (Celeron M) back in 2004. It's still running the original factory load of Windows XP and runs beautifully. It got me through both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees and I still occasionally use it when camping. The only thing I've replaced was the battery, in 2008. The wide screen is still bright and clear, and the hard drive is fast and quiet. It runs VMware workstation with up to 4 Linux VMs smoothly on 2GB RAM.

      After my experience, I would not hesitate to purchase Acer products in the future.
      Bit-Smacker
  • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

    +1 to this article. Finally someone who understands. Tablets are a passing fad no matter how much ZDNet wants me to believe otherwise. People are buying tablets and then just leaving them at home sitting on the coffee tablet collecting dust. Once they see its not as productive as they thought, well, then there is no use for it. Ultrabooks are just too expensive (as are tablets).
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

      @LoverockDavidson
      This data point has read and responded via a tablet. It's lunch, home is miles away and I use my iPad at work and for recreation.

      Offered with humility and in futility, because we know that when you've got a series of cookie-cutter rants going, facts are a nuisance.
      DannyO_0x98
      • I think you just made his point about the very small but very vocal minority

        That hangs out here on ZDNet...
        Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @DannyO_0x98

        I know one person who owns a tablet (ipad), and all I've seen them use it for is to play scrabble. For real.
        jthompso@...
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @DannyO_0x98 <br>Say when you were typing this did you have to hold it in the most awkward position then try to type on it? How about hunching over and resting it on your legs and typing like a regular keyboard? No can't do that either. Once people see the newness of it wear off, they will be collecting dust.
        LoverockDavidson
      • Recent data puts them at 1.25% market share...

        @Johnny Vegas: if in two years that's a minority.. then Windows Vista (in 5 years, at 9.27%) will be just a rounding error...

        Trust me... once you follow the iPod -> iPhone -> iPad cycle you don't go back to slow Windows systems @ home. At work might be a different use case, but we know enterprise refresh for laptops is stuck and second PC purchases are down almost 20%, being replaced by those little "fad" machines...

        http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10
        cosuna
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @cosuna "Trust me... once you follow the iPod -> iPhone -> iPad cycle you don't go back to slow Windows systems @ home."<br><br>Complete and utter BS! I own an iPad, and I still do far more on my Windows desktop than I'd ever do on my iPad. The iPad is a gimped product that can't do half of what my desktop or my laptop can do. Same for the other two members of my family who also own an iPad. So you're full of it. The iPod and iPhone don't even factor, as they don't come within a billion frickin' miles of a PC.<br><br>As for Windows being slow, this only proves you don't have a clue about Windows. My Windows 7 PC is blazing fast, and hasn't be restarted in more than 6 months. So again, you're full of it.<br><br>"second PC purchases are down almost 20%"<br><br>LOL! That's because most people don't upgrade their PCs that often. They don't need to. That little link shows complete dominance by Windows. iPads and iPhones are not even remotely comparable to desktops and laptops. So why they're even included is beyond me. They're not even the same market.
        JoeHTH
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @JoeHTH [b]+1[/b]
        rhonin
    • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

      @LoverockDavidson

      I can speak from personal experience that people are NOT leaving them at home to collect dust. There are numerous professionals in my org (professional services) that bring them to work AND use them side by side with their PCs.

      They who have them are more and more frequently opting for tablets over laptops when they travel.

      These people are in the professional services industry, and use them heavily for document review and correspondence. They are busy people on the go, and the size, weight, "instant on", no cables, long battery life, etc. are all factors driving them to tablets, and more are inquiring about them each day.
      TroyMcClure
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @piousmonk
        They are not authorized at my work, in fact no device is unless we issue it and that's not going to happen. I question how often they are actually using the tablet for productivity and work purposes versus just playing angry birds. They can review a document but that's where it stops, editing would be a nightmare.
        LoverockDavidson
      • Better start looking at them...

        @LoverockDavidson : else you risk being the "mainframe" guy on an all PC environment... if you catch my drift and learn from past experience...

        IBM's Boca Raton unit was purposely built that far off Armonk, 'cause most people at New York state saw no use for PC so the team had to outsource the OS [Microsoft] and the hardware [Intel] and we know how that story ended...
        cosuna
      • BTW...

        @LoverockDavidson : iPads are being introduced into the enterprise by C-level managers who can care less what IT feels about them... they just work for them... so they figure... they must work for the full company...

        Also... they are cheaper than enterprise issued laptops (which including Windows 7 Professional and Office licenses round about $1,700 per unit) while a fully equipped iPad with iWork is no more than 900 bucks...
        cosuna
      • RE: Acer founder: Tablets, Ultrabooks are passing fads

        @cosuna "which including Windows 7 Professional and Office licenses round about $1,700 per unit"

        LOL! More BS! Do you ever stop lying. They do not cost anywhere near that much. I know of numerous enterprise laptops that can be had for near $1000.
        JoeHTH