First, Apple takes Acer to the woodshed over netbooks, now the PC maker takes a bruising for demanding a lady-sized 7-inch tablet. They’ve just figured out what Apple has known all along: the iPad’s the perfect size for a tablet.
The 7-inch Iconia Tab A100 won’t appear until August or September, insider reports suggest Wednesday.
The problem, according to industry publication DigiTimes, is Android 3.0 doesn’t work with seven-inch tablets. An update to the Google mobile software — with the comical “Ice Cream Sandwhich” codename — likely won’t appear until later this year. Acer plans to target its 7-inch tablet to women and won’t use the currently-available phone version of Android. Other Android tablets, such as HTC’s Flyer, do use the phone operating system.
PC tablet makers see the 7-inch niche as a way to survive a market dominated by Apple’s 10-inch iPad. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed the smaller screens, suggesting they are impractical and would require such a crowded interface that users would have to “sand down their fingers” to work a 7-inch tablet display.
News that Acer may delay its tablet comes shortly after a former CEO said the PC maker was caught flat-footed by the iPad. Gianfranco Lanci was quoted earlier this month that despite warnings, the company refused to invest in tablets. Acer feared “de-Taiwanization” if engineers were hired to work on tablet and touch screen technology, he said.
It appears Acer may be late to another party – those learning a tablet interface cannot be tacked onto an e-reader like display. Already, players like Samsung realize the problem with the smaller displays, offering their tablet in 10-inch, as well as 7-inch versions. Judging by Jobs’ previous negative comments about the smaller screens, we are not likely to see Apple introduce a smaller tablet. This leaves PC makers to be the Guinea pig and recalls the flame-out the tech industry witnessed with netbooks.
What do you think? Will Apple introduce a 7-inch tablet? Perhaps more importantly, should the Cupertino, Calif. company stray from its 10-inch roots?