Acer launches low-priced Iconia tablet

Goal set to lead in hybrid tablet segment

Acer, the world's fourth-largest PC maker, yesterday launched what it dubs the cheapest educational tablet computer among top global brands in a move to compete at a throwaway price.

Mr Nitipat and a happy customer show the new Iconia tablet. The WiFi-only device features a seven-inch display and a dual-core processor. Priced at 3,990 baht, it runs the Android 4.1 operating system.

The Taiwanese computer maker is ratcheting up the fight against Chinese brands, which are gaining popularity and taking market share from international tablet makers.

"Thailand is one of our top three countries in the world, so we chose to introduce our new educational tablet, the Iconia B1-A71, at below 4,000 baht," said Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, senior marketing manager at Acer Computer.

Acer's Iconia features a seven-inch display and a dual-core processor. It runs the Android 4.1 operating system and is priced at 3,990 baht including VAT. The device supports WiFi only.

"The Iconia will be our flagship product this year, increasing our market share in the Android-based tablet segment," said Mr Nitipat.

Acer Iconia is suitable for first-time tablet users, especially students. The company aims to sell at least 40,000 units a month and become a top-three tablet vendor in Thailand this year.

Mr Nitipat said tablets priced below 6,000 baht, making up 40% of sales, are the highest growth segment, owing to the influx of Chinese brands and the state's One Tablet Per Child scheme.

Thai tablet sales outside of the scheme are expected to reach 3 million units this year.

Half of total units sold will use the Android system, followed by the Apple brand with 35%.

Mr Nitipat said Acer plans to bid for the government's tablet scheme this year, aiming to supply 1.6 million units.

Acer's notebook sales fell 5% last year, in line with the overall industry, as tablets and smartphones flourished.

The company wants to revive its notebook market this year, aided by the planned launch of a hybrid that combines the features of a typing-style notebook and a touch-based tablet.

"We aim to become a leader in the convertible device market soon," said Mr Nitipat.

About the author

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Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter