Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) Taiwanese computer vendor Acer Inc. is planning to launch more affordable tablet computers later this year, thanks to robust demand for its first such model, a senior company executive said Monday.
Following the strong demand for its 7-inch Iconia B1 priced at NT$4,990 (US$169) in Taiwan, Acer will launch similar tablets in sizes of 8 and 10 inches this year, said Scott Lin, Acer's senior vice president and president of its Greater China operations.
The two new devices are likely to start from about NT$6,000 and NT$7,000, respectively, when they are scheduled to hit the market by the third quarter of 2013, Lin told a media briefing in Taipei.
Acer's first affordable tablet has proven a success, according to Lin.
"The 7-inch tablet may not be eye-catching, but they could help Acer go from zero to hero," he said.
The Iconia B1, featuring a 1.2 GHz dual-core microprocessor from Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc., is estimated to reach monthly shipments of 400,000 units globally given no supply shortage in any key components such as touchscreens, Lin said.
Acer sold 7,000 units of the new tablet in Taiwan in just 10 days since it hit local store shelves on Jan. 18, Lin said, adding that the monthly sales in the country could reach nearly 10,000 units.
Meanwhile, worldwide tablet shipments in 2013 are estimated to reach 240 million units, compared to 207 million notebooks, market research and consulting firm NPD DisplaySearch said in a recent report.
Noting that increasing global demand for tablets has opened up the market for a range of players, both large and small, the report forecast that tablets with 7- to 8-inch screens will replace Apple Inc.'s 9.7-inch iPad as the dominant models.
The combined market share of tablets with 7-inch through 7.9-inch screens will reach 45 percent, while 9.7-inch tablets like the traditional iPad will account for a share of about 17 percent, the report forecast.
The remaining 38 percent of the market will be shared by a wide variety of sizes of tablets, ranging from 5.6 to 13.3 inches, according to the report.
(By Jeffrey Wu)