Netbook Market Leader Acer Not Planning to Compete With iPad

DigiTimes reports on comments from Scott Lin, president of the Taiwanese division of netbook market leader Acer revealing that the company has no plans to compete with Apple's iPad tablet device. Lin noted that while an iPad-like product would be relatively simple technologically for Acer, such a device does not fit into the company's business strategy. In addition, the iPad's iTunes Store/App Store integration offers a key differentiating feature that other hardware manufacturers can't match.

Lin pointed out that designing an iPad-like device would not pose any technical challenges for Acer, but said such a product does not fit into Acer's business model.

Apple is able to support the iPad through its iTunes ecosystem, while few other makers, including Acer, have comparable experience in operating an online store, Lin noted.

Lin also pointed to the closed nature of Apple's iPhone/iPad ecosystem, which makes it difficult for other companies to replicate. Lin believes, however, there is likely to be little overlap between the iPad and traditional notebook and netbook markets, suggesting that Acer does not view the iPad as a significant threat to its business.

During the iPad's introduction, Apple CEO Steve Jobs built the case that a product targeting the space between smartphones and notebooks needs to do some things better than either of those types of devices, pointing to browsing, email, photos, video, music, games, and eBooks as examples of tasks at which such a device might want to excel. In addressing the current popularity of netbooks, Jobs claimed that netbooks "aren't better at anything" and are just cheap notebooks, opening the door for the iPad to define the new product category.

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