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Acer slashes Windows 8 tablet prices by 20%

2013/08/07 11:30:57

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) In another setback to Microsoft Corp.'s push into mobile devices, Taiwan-based Acer Inc., the world's fourth-largest PC maker, has slashed the prices of its first 8-inch tablet computer using the Windows 8 operating system.

The Acer Iconia W3 tablet will now carry a price tag of US$299 for the 32GB model and US$349 for the 64GB model in the United States, both US$80 cheaper than when they were launched in June this year, according to the Microsoft Store website.

Acer said the price cuts could also be applied in other markets in the future.

The move came after Microsoft announced on Aug. 4 that it was cutting US$100 off the price of its flagship 64GB and 128GB Surface Pro tablets in the United States, Canada, China and Hong Kong in the next two weeks.

The new pricing for the Surface Pro followed a 30 percent price cut in mid-July on Microsoft's Surface RT tablets running the Windows RT system, which is designed for models using low-power chips licensed by British chip designer ARM Holdings Plc.

Since their U.S. launch early this year, Microsoft's own-branded Surface tablets have struggled to lure consumers away from Apple Inc.'s iPads and other tablets running Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

The software giant unexpectedly took a US$900-million hit for unsold Surface RT tablets in the second quarter, causing the company to fall short of revenue and profit expectations.

A total of 1.8 million Windows tablets were shipped in the second quarter of the year, accounting for a mere 4 percent share of the global market, according to data from tech-tracking firm International Data Corp. (IDC).

(By Jeffrey Wu)