Acer Founder Says MacBook Airs, iPads, Tablets and Ultrabooks Are Just A Silly Fad

Acer Founder Says MacBook Airs, iPads, Tablets and Ultrabooks Are Just A Silly Fad

Acer founder Stan Shih has opened his mouth and said something extraordinarily stupid: the ultrabook and tablet form factors are nothing but a stupid fad with no future. Someone should tell Apple that, so they can stop selling iPads and MacBook Airs to a throng of millions of excited customers.

Sayeth Digitimes:

Acer founder Stan Shih has commented that the fads for ultrabooks and tablet PCs are both short-term phenomena and urged companies in the notebook supply chain to come out with more value-added products through innovation.

Shih added that Apple achieved success with iPad through its outside-the-box thinking, which is an attitude that all notebook players should learn.

Commenting on Apple bringing tablet PC and smartphone products into the PC market to compete with PC players and creating a great impact on PC demand, Shih pointed out that PCs are the base of the IT industry and tablet PCs are also developed from the base; therefore, in the future, products will still need to go through the PC platform to create even more add-on value

Absurd and myopic. How can the founder of one of Apple’s main competitors not be paying attention to what Apple is doing? With iCloud and iOS 5, Apple is already cutting the cord between the PC and mobile platforms, and iCloud’s only going to get better at what it does. Tablets only need to go through a PC as long as tablet-makers don’t have an analogue to iCloud.

As for the prediction about ultrabooks, he may very well be right: ultrabooks might be a non-started for Windows PCs. I don’t think that’s going to stop Apple though.

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  • Michael Griffin

    They’re selling mighty well considering their a “fad”…

    No wonder Acer are failing if this moron is the guy who founded them…

  • John Neumann

    “If you cannot innovate, discombobulficate”

  • Don Pope

    Sour grapes.

  • Francisco García

    Apple’s success is well known by offering what a consumer really wants or needs, many years passed with people buying PCs with hi specs but only to use the email or to navigate. iPad is really useful for people who just do simple tasks and is great because people who were afraid of computers now are catching up to technology, and enjoying it by the way. We have seen this for  some time now, and people who needs a beefier equipment will just get it, but the market has diversified a lot and that’s how Apple takes advantage of that, by offering options to everyone.

  • TerryMajamaki

    The fad is that almost every person will have one in the next 5 years until something better comes out. 

  • Michael Black

    Netbooks were definitely a fad. Perhaps he feels burned on that fad considering Acer was one of the big producers of netbooks.

    He could be right on tablets, but I think he might be wrong. I don’t know what the numbers comparison are, but I’d guess that more tables, i.e., iPads, have been sold than netbooks.

  • lsl74
  • Alan Christensen

    Maybe Shih hasn’t realized what it took me a while to understand—that a lot of computers have been sold to people with very limited computing needs. Smart phones and tablets make more sense for them than a full-featured desktop or laptop. Those people won’t be going back to the bigger machines, ever.

  • techgeek01

    Well, I have to say, what he said is true.

    Here is why.

    Ultrabooks and Tablets WILL morph into a device like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer.  Tablet/laptop hybrid.  Basically you will have a ultrabook and a tablet in one device.
    That is where technology is going.  If anybody paid attention to Microsoft’s Windows 8 conference a while back, they were showing that mobile CPU’s will be able to run Windows 8.  Basically mobile hardware will begin to be as powerful as desktop hardware.

    What does this mean?  Your tablet can be as powerful as your ultrabook.  So, if your tablet is as powerful as an ultrabook, wouldn’t adding a keyboard/laptop dock make it into a ultrabook?  So, instead of having or carrying around two separate devices, you could carry one device that has both functions?

    So, you’re iPads, MBAs, Tablets and ultrabooks?  Going to be replaced with these laptop/tablet hybrids.  Thats what will happen.Don’t think this will happen?
    Asus already has the Transformer out.This fall they will show off the Transformer “2″Asus already confirmed there will be a Windows 8 powered version.
    Lenovo has a couple of tablets that have this exact same feature. tablet/laptop hybrid.

    Its just the beginning of this and we will just see more.

  • Beave

    To make your comments stand out legitimately, why not try to learn the difference among the words their, there, and they’re? Calling someone a “moron” whilst misspelling your own words, defeats your purpose on here.

  • winski

    Man, I thought we had cleared the neighborhood of this particular
    mix of bad crack and bathroom cleanser stewed together to make something
    these guys would try to smoke. Then, in their dream state, spew
    mind-numbing nonsense for days only to wake up and find their
    companies laying in rubble at their feet…
    FAIL REPEAT………

  • GDal

    Creating a keyboard dock for a tablet is hardly what I’d call ‘morphing’… It’s simply adding a keyboard to a tablet, which is something that can be done already…

    That being said, in all the talk so far, nobody actually defines the functional differences between ultrabooks/netbooks/laptops/desktops/tablets. Aside from the input methods and displays, there is no real difference between the devices. The all have CPUs, RAM, storage, I/O, and operating systems. Those are all the components needed for all computers. The form factor does not dictate core functionality (nor does the availability of extra ports). Interaction and reach, maybe, but not functionality.

    There are only two things preventing a complete switch to tablets. The keyboard dock, and additional software. Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, MS Office (?). Once these are available and usable, there will be no reason not to switch. XCode, other IDEs, and compilers will also be nice to have. The hardware is certainly capable.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I highly disagree. The whole point of an iPad is to have a cheap computer that runs a fully functional mobile OS at a fast pace. These OSs are fully functional in that they do a lot in what the creator needs as a mobile computer, but they’re also incredibly light. You can not be saying that Windows 8 will be as light as iOS or Android. If it’s not as light it’s not as fast. You could argue that Windows 8 tablets could just use more powerful hardware but then the sweet price goes away. As long as you have to pay more for Windows, it’ll never take off. And if I wanted a keyboard on my iPad I have a number of options including a Bluetooth keyboard.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I believe different. I believe someone who’s driving a company downward because they refuse to catch up with what people really want is legitimately moronic. He sees Apple’s success and can not mirror that with his cheap knockoffs, so he verbally attacks the genuine product.

    Misspelling a word on the Internet is all too normal. So, if you’re about to say this fellow is a moron for misspelling a word or that his point is now void of validity because of the lack of spellcheck, keep in mind that his company isn’t on the line for this mistake.

  • Jdsonice

    Yup I would agree with you a 100%. 

  • Jdsonice

    Well I don’t know who is right in this battle. All I am concerned about is that I love my iPhone and my mom loves her iPad and my niece just ordered 2 iPads for the family. And my stock in Apple is doing pretty darn well. Thank you. I love Apple and yes I am a fanboy. Oh I did sell off my ASUS netbook – it was gathering dust. 

  • GDal

    Famous words from a blind man…

    Bill Gates once said nobody will ever need more than 640k.
    Somebody at the Patent Office once said that everything that will ever be invented has already been invented.
    Prominent engineers said that trains travelling in tunnels would suck the air out of the passengers’ lungs, killing everyone.
    Michael Dell said Apple should close it’s doors and give the shareholders back their money.

    Who was right? None of them.

    One thing I’ve learned is that most predictions are well off the mark, and usually based on ignorance, pride, arrogance, or a combination. Stan Shih sounds no different.

  • Mike Rathjen

    I think the current market for small- or mid-size desktops is a fad and we’ll all go back to full size, beige towers.

  • GDal

    Well said. I prefer to think, though, that computers are now catching up with people, as I think it’s computers that should to do the work of interacting effectively with the user, not the other way around. We’ve had over 30 years to get things going in that direction and things are finally moving that way.

  • Chan Kin Hou

    These are exactly the kind of corporate leaders that is leading RIM to oblivion. Is Acer next?

  • techgeek01

    Well, Asus EeePad Transformer runs Android honeycomb. So, the Asus EeePad is basically Asus/Google version of the iPad/iOS.  Cheap computer that runs a fully function mobile OS.

    Windows 8 probably will not be as light as iOS or Android.  BUT the technology should be there next year where it is the powerful technology but at reasonable prices. (We will have to wait and see what happens)  Currently the EeePad costs $400 for 16GB and $500 for the 32GB. Depending the pricing of Windows 8, it could add $50 more. so maybe $450 for the cheapest version.  Depending how much more expensive windows version is, it may be well worth it. 

    Yes, for a lot of tablets ou there, there are keyboard options galore.  But do any keyboards give you, additional battery life, keyboard, mouse (trackpad), USB ports and full SD slots?  No.  Right now, that is what the Transformer dock does. Boost up battery life (to 16hrs), gives a keyboard and trackpad, 2 USB ports and a full SD slot. And possibly a full HDMI port.  Last I checked, there is no other keyboard out there that gives you that things.

  • Dan kamp

    MacBook Airs, iPads and Tablets and ultrabooks are just a silly fad…. says the buggy maker.

  • msidoric

    acer’s stan shih is whistling in the graveyard. denying reality is not the same is preparing for a new one — one that acer will certainly have a much diminished role — if it even still exists.

  • Amazingbaby Baby

    what a mong

  • John Neumann

    I always lie to remember this quote and imagine Steve Jobs calling Mike Dell to tell him to suck Taco Bell sauce out of his hind end. :D

  • eric lee

    I’m a huge Apple fan, but I think that there is still a place for notebooks in the business sector.  I think that there are still a lot of things that Windows boxes do better than a tablet, such as spreadsheets.  But I think as we see future iterations of these devices they will work to eliminate the deficiencies.  Apple is an innovative company and they are working to cut the cord to eliminate the PC (middle-man).  How they address the business needs is only a matter of time.  Beyond that, I welcome that day when I can stream to my iPad/iPhone/MacBook Air from the Cloud and there is no interdependence between the devices.  That day is virtually here and that is the day that when the nail will be driven into the coffin of the PC.

  • ErinsDad

    It’s good to know at least one person, somewhere, is proud of Acer.

  • peteywheats

    Acer? Hahahhahahahhahahahhahahahahahhahah!

  • Animesh Mishra

    This always happens. When Apple dropped the DVD drives from the MacBook Air, people termed it as foolish and not a well thought about action. We all no about the fate of DVDs they are doomed to  die. 
    Post-PC devices bring in a lot of productivity as compared to the PC(and by PC I mean the entire class of Personal computers i.e. Mac + Windows). You don’t have to wait for them to start. They lit up instantly. What that means is you are spending less time looking for what you need and who loves waiting ?

    Tablets and smart phones are here to stay. This is just the beginning ..

  • monkeyrun

    At least they have their own opinion, unlike other companies that makes iPad clones, but keep on insisting that they are not just doing what Apple’s doing.

  • SpongebobUK

    A couple of years ago we were looking for a laptop for my son to take to university. I set a budget of £500 and we looked around the stores. We looked at the Acer’s and rejected them along with the Dell’s, HP’s etc on the basis of poor build (we didn’t think they would take the knocks – poor hinges/keyboards), the battery life was abysmal – usually 2 hours. Added to that the extra software that was needed – most of the Windows boxes had trial only software exposing the purchaser to additional costs.

    My son isn’t share my love of the Mac but when he saw the 13in MBP we realised it was the laptop of choice – he could also load up Windoze and Ubuntu if he wanted. For sure it blew the £500 but we did get the Student discount and he hasn’t looked back.

    Sure, we could have stayed cheap but at what price? I accept that not everyone can afford the mac but that’s where the Acer market is and will always be. If Apple are selling ‘silly fads’ then good luck to them – I think their stock price says it all – and I’ll keep buying Apple products cos they work!

  • Apple_News

    Check out this great apple blog!

    http://applefanboynews.com/

  • Girts Dumpis

    kretin indeed! we seen these guys who refuse to admit reality – nokia, rim etc – all of them some time ago said – “iphone? noo that’s bullshit!” look where they are now? nokia is basically gone, and rim is on their way! so, if this dork saying all apple stuff is bullshit – he can find himself one day soon enough at the bottom of rank list…..

  • twitter-28439603

    No, you believe *differently*.

    Hmm, a certain ‘m’ word may apply to you too.

  • url2011

    You still need a computer to update the Ipad, and Iphone, the computer being the “base” is still needed. And u can’t do serious work on it yet.  Yes it is still a fad.. They sold millions of devices but why Am I the only person in class with a tablet computer? lol.. I’m in lexington Kentucky. And I can tell ya, nobody really buying them. They always in stock at any store u go to… So they sell 20 million Ipads worldwide this year? But I wonder how many of those are just replacing their original models. How many are new adopters? So maybe the  Acer CEO is right,  but I can also say the Tablet market is new who knows how much more it can grow

  • Yasaswy Nagavolu

    well that guy probably did’nt care to look into the specs.. so did I.. why worry about another thing when u get used to ever developing iOS which launched first and already got used to it.. Its not like it stopped developing.. every year at WWDC they do awesome stuff to support developing community and new products in software..

  • twitter-28439603

    >Bill Gates once said nobody will ever need more than 640k.

    [citation needed]

    Everything I’ve read has said this is apocryphal.

  • Joel Angert

    Actually, I’m pretty sure that with iOS 5 (coming out soon) you can set up and update your iDevices without using a computer at all, through delta updates.

  • harryshares

    I agree with Francisco completely. Computers will become gadget for purely business purpose and these new gadgets will serve to both – Home & Business.

  • harryshares

    Wake up and review Nielson recent surveys for their iOs activation & sales figures!!! Commenting without referring anything, naaah!!!

  • harryshares

    It’s a very good reply!! I think commenting in this way much makes more sense – with exact reference and same sort of predictions.

  • GDal

    Thanks. Now I have a new word for my vocabulary…

    While the quote cannot be cited, there are references to people who attended a trade show back in 1981 where he supposedly said it. As it was not recorded (who recorded at trade shows in 1981?) and no journal printed it, it was easily dismissed by Bill Gates as never happening.

    Bill Gates back in the early 80s was a brash arrogant young man. Why would he want to admit to an embarrassing statement like that? Did he say it? Possibly. Can we prove it? No. Would he ever admit it? HELL no.

    Some other choice gaffs by BG.
    He also said Microsoft would never make a 32 bit operating system.
    He said that the internet was a passing fad, in his 1995 book “The Road Ahead.”
    He quickly had the book revised in 1996 to reflect his change in opinion.
    At Comdex in 1994, he said “I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at least 10 years.”

    Bill Gates has a history of making erroneous predictive statements. He has shown the desire to sculpt people’s opinions on his views. While many things he said were not recorded, I believe they were witnessed. His embarrassment was evidently enough to cause him to deny the observations.

  • GDal

    The need of a computer is not the fault of the hardware. It’s the result of limitations imposed by Apple or Google on the OS. The OS could very well be designed to handle everything itself, it just isn’t yet. I think the entire approach here is a good one. As people get used to the devices, they will become more comfortable with the idea of not needing a traditional computer. When they’re ready, update the OS to allow them to do just that.

    Any product released before the market is ready will always fail.
    Automatic cars in a country where people believe that only idiots drive automatics – UK. Apparently only 18% of cars in the UK, and I’m sure most are luxury vehicles
    Push-button transmissions in cars where people believe that a selector stick is better – The Edsel. Ever seen a car without a gear selector stick of some sort?
    Personal music in cars… using record players. Cassettes killed the record player idea.
    Apple Newton and many other handwriting tablets – USRobotics Palm Pilot was just around the corner.
    Laserdiscs. VHS was still better for consumers. Then came DVDs.

    There are many other examples of great technology and ideas being applied before the market is ready to accept it.

    If Apple had made the iPad a laptop replacement from the start, I think most potential customers would have said “I’m not going to replace my computer with a tablet” and tablet sales would have remained insignificant. I’m sure you’ve read many articles stating that a tablet will never replace a laptop/desktop. But now that the market is abuzz with dream of doing just that, Apple can start the transition that will allow it.Windows XP Tablet Edition took the approach of replacing a traditional laptop with a tablet. We all know how successful that was.
    Using Lexington Kentucky as an example of technology’s impact is a bit off the mark. I’m sure they were not the first to adopt radio, non-party-line telephones, television, cell phones, personal computers, digital satellite, DSL, HD TV, etc… These are all there now, after many years and sometimes decades. Party-line telephones. What fun they were! Tablets will come to Lexington too, but it’s been less than 2 years. Give them about 15 years. Hehehe

    Replacing devices with new ones is not a new phenomenon… A new Xbox replacing the old Xbox. New PlayStation replacing the old one. How about the new Nintendos we’ve all had? Did those sales not count?

    I can remember people saying video games would never be commercially viable… Do either EA or John Carmack think that?

    Let Mr Acer have his delusions. The technology world will continue just fine without him and his company.

  • GDal

    Do you remember how long it took for people to accept that a laptop was powerful enough to do everything a desktop could? Tablets are just about there, but people’s slowly changing perceptions need to catch up.

    Can’t stream from the cloud? What do you call YouTube?

  • GDal

    I’ve been waiting for Acer to die for at least 10 years now. They just keep going and going…

  • GDal

    I don’t understand the desire to use a mouse on a tablet… What will it help someone do that a finger can’t?

    Is USB really better than wireless?

    The SD I can understand to a point, and HDMI is there with an adapter… When HDMI is replaced by Thunderbolt or the like are we still going to have to ugly HDMI ports everywhere? Why would you want to use a tablet while it’s connected to a thick HDMI cable? Is having HDMI really better than streaming wirelessly?

  • GDal

    Yep.

    He probably thought Ataris, Coleco Visions, NES, PlayStation One, Xbox, Motorola StarTac phones, and the rest were all fads too. I guess he’s right as they’ve all been replaced with newer devices.

    Maybe someone will be kind enough to inform him that fads are popular things that cannot spawn future improvements. Pet rocks. Topsi-tails, Garbage Pail Kids. Cabbage Patch dolls, rear window louvres. All were popular at one time but could not be improved to create new popular products.

  • GDal

    I should have left the 640k one out though. There is no credible validation.

  • techgeek01

    Well, take the advantages of a mouse over a touchscreen on a laptop, and bring it over to a tablet.

    The main advantage here is accuracy.  Your finger is fat, a mouse pointer is not.  I would have to say that’s the main thing.

    Well, the question is, what do you want to use the USB for?  You can use the USB to plug in flash drives, external harddrives, even game console controllers.  What if you want to move a mass load of music or photos?  its easier to drag and drop GB’s of photos or music than trying to send it wirelessly.

    Well, last I checked Thunderbolt is only on Macs and no other devices.  with an HDMI port you can plug it into about any TV or computer display.  Really can’t do that with Thunderbolt.  Plus not all TV’s can stream wirelessly.  

  • gafstr

    he didn’t say they were a fad, he said he wants an iPad

  • GDal

    Mouse vs tablet – Graphic designers and architects use tablets with styluses (styli) rather than mice because of the increased accuracy provided. I’m not sure how you can accurately claim the reverse. Compare drawing a straight line with a mouse vs on a trackpad or tablet. Arm vs finger. Finger wins every time.

    Games, on the other hand, work best with mice, compared to keypad controllers. The tablet solution for FPS should be flicking, but game developers haven’t gotten that one yet. Why not???

    Wireless transfer of files is something load of people do every day, or have you forgotten? When people download files from the Internet on a laptop, or send images, they probably do it using wireless connections. I have transferred multiple gigs using wireless networks in the office and at home for over ten years. The speed may not be as high as gigabit Ethernet, but it’s always good enough. I prefer not having the clutter of extra cables. The process is exactly the same as using a wired network. Where’s this added difficulty your referring to?

    Thunderbolt is Mac only at the mo, but who knows? I should focus on today’s equipment though.

    HDMI is available, though with an adapter which I think costs too much, but it is available. The added port itself is not necessary. Wireless streaming adapters are available too, at a cost, but also available. You have the choice of using either… Waiting for a device with an actual HDMI port seems kind of silly when the adapter is only $30. Less if you don’t buy it from Apple.

  • HerbalEd

    This guy is like a ’50 sci-fi movie about 2010 where the TVs are still big boxes, and there are still analog dials and switches on space ships. As computer continue to get smaller and smaller, and more and more powerful with massive amounts of memory and speed, and perfected voice control you can bet computers, tablets, smart phones, etc. will have very different form and control than they do today. If you can’t see that then you have no imagination and/or no sense of history.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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