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Acer hints at future phablets and Windows RT tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

February 26 2013

Acer is still thinking about releasing Windows RT tablets, as well as phablets
Acer is still thinking about releasing Windows RT tablets, as well as phablets

With a history of selling everything from laptops and all-in-one PCs to Ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Acer is thinking of building phablets and Windows RT tablets.

Barcelona, Spain -- Speaking to TabTimes at the Mobile World Congress today, Acer’s Yves Cosendai revealed that the company is “looking into” making phablets and Windows RT-powered tablets in the second half of 2013.

Cosendai, product director for the EMEA’s marketing division, admitted that the firm has “revamped” its tablet roadmap by introducing the Iconia B1, a $130 model designed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, and hinted that Android phablets can be expected in future.

Quizzed on whether Acer would release phablets to vie with Samsung’s Galaxy Note, Cosendai offered up a revealing, if guarded response.

“We haven’t announced anything, but we are definitely looking at the space,” said the Acer executive.

“The phablet is naturally, something we feel pretty strongly about it. We have all this heritage of notebooks, tablets and Ultrabooks and we’re gradually going into these 5-inch to 6-inch screen sizes in the second half of the year.”

Acer has famously been critical of Microsoft for its attempt at making hardware with the Surface and while Cosendai wouldn’t be drawn on that, he said that the firm’s decision to go with Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets on the launch of the operating system ‘made sense’.

“We decided to go for Windows 8 at launch because we knew how it worked and that it would not be a difficult sale to end-users at the point-of-sale,” said Cosendai.

Acer has since launched the W510, W511 and W700 Windows 8 tablets, but the firm says that it will be paying close attention to how Microsoft’s Surface RT fares, in order to determine if an Acer Windows RT tablet is viable. The company had previously been expected to launch a number of Windows RT tablets in the first half of 2013.

“Windows RT is something we have in mind, but it’s all about when is the right time. As the user interface and availability of apps get better, we will consider it.”

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