Acer caused a little bit of a commotion this week when one of its Taiwanese executives implied that it was pulling away from netbooks and moving towards tablets. Speaking to ComputerWorld, Acer Taiwan sales manager, Lu Bing-hsian, said they’d be launching two Sandy Bridge tablets later in the year and that these devices would be the beginning of the phase-out of netbooks.
"They are aimed at phasing out netbooks," Lu said. "That’s the direction of the market."
However, it seems Lu may have been speaking out of turn, as Acer has contacted us to say it will continue its line of netbooks as well as producing tablets.
"Mobility, which has always been part of Acer’s DNA, finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer, which feature various display sizes and models designed to fit different kinds of usage scenarios," the statement reads. "Acer recognizes that the computer market is changing. As PCs are no longer only used to create content but are more and more becoming consumption tools, new devices and new form factors are appearing.
"This means the range of devices available to users is getting wider and tablets are just another piece of the mosaic. Therefore, they will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks."
Sadly, the company also seemed to shoot down rumors that it would put out two Sandy Bridge-based tablets this year. The end of the release notes: "For the moment devices based on Sandy Bridge are not yet foreseen."
We’ve contacted Acer for clarification on this point, as it doesn’t really feel like a flat-out denial, and we figure Lu must have had a reason for saying they were planning Sandy Bridge tablets for 2011. We'll update when they get back to us on that. We’ve also asked for clarification on one other point: Lu Bing-hsian told ComputerWorld that while they would continue to produce netbooks, they would not be producing as many as in previous years. Acer’s statement did not address this comment.