Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Acer takes aim at budget market with US$115 tablet

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday unveiled its cheapest tablet computer to date — the Iconia One7 with a price tag of just NT$3,490 (US$115).

Taking aim at the low-cost tablet computer market favored by price-sensitive customers, Acer said in an e-mailed statement that it began shipping a “limited volume” of the One7 to local distributors yesterday, and expects the 7-inch tablet to go on sale early next month in Taiwan and later in the month in China and other Asia-Pacific markets.

The Iconia One7 has a Cortex-A9 dual-core 1.5GHz chipset from Taiwan’s VIA Technologies Inc (威盛), a 1024x600-pixel screen, 16GB of built-in memory and a micro-SD card slot. The company said it supports high-definition 1080p video playback, despite the relatively low WVGA screen resolution.

The One7’s specifications hold up to competitors in the 7-inch low-price bracket, including local rival Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩電腦) US$139 MeMO Pad HD 7 and US online retailer Amazon.com Inc’s US$139 Kindle Fire HD.

Acer shares closed flat at NT$18.05 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ahead of the announcement.

The struggling Taiwanese PC maker is aiming for explosive growth in its tablet computer business this year, despite intensified competition from other low-cost Android tablet vendors.

Maverick Shih (施宣輝), president of Acer’s BYOC (Build Your Own Cloud) and Tablet Business Group, told the media on Feb. 5 that the company “will be working hard to achieve aggressive growth” and is aiming to ship 10 million tablets this year.

The Commercial Times estimated that Acer shipped only half of that number last year, citing sources within the company.

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