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Acer Announces New Tablets For 2011

November 24, 2010

Acer Inc., the world’s second largest PC maker, unveiled a host of tablet computers to help the company compete with Apple Inc’s iPad and other tablet devices stepping into the quickly growing market.

The tablet computer market is teeming with companies rushing to produce the new devices, which are a little bit PC and a little bit smartphone.

Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci announced at a news conference in New York Tuesday that the tablets would come in three sizes — 5-, 7-, and 10-inch screens — and will run on Google’s Android software. It will also have a second 10-inch that will run on Microsoft’s Windows.

The tablets are due out in April 2011 and will feature only Wi-Fi connectivity. The company said, however, that 3G-capable models will arrive about a month later. The 5-inch model doubles as a smartphone, it said.

Taiwan-based Acer said it was in talks with US phone carriers for 3G connectivity for its tablets. The company said that no prices had been set for the devices.

“It’s a gold rush right now,” NPD analyst Ross Rubin told Reuters. “Everyone wants to get a tablet product out there.”

Apple’s iPad began selling in April and has been commanding the market in the still-growing fledgling market. In the July-to-September quarter it dominated the tablet market, controlling 95 percent, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Tablet sales are expected to grow to more than 50 million units in 2011 and more than 100 million in 2012, according to research firm Gartner.

Besides the tablets, Acer also unveiled a laptop — called Iconia –with two 14-inch LCD touch screens. It also unveiled a media store and software called Clear.fi that allows customers to stream content on different Acer devices.

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