Acer Building $99 7-Inch Tablet Computer: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report indicates that PC manufacturer Acer is now working on a sub-$100 tablet computer. At the moment, however, no one appears to know when or even if such a device will make its way to the United States.

With 2011 revenue in excess of $16 billion, Taiwan-based Acer is one of the world's largest PC manufacturers. The firm currently produces both laptop and desktop computers, as well as smartphones, storage devices, and standalone PC monitors.

$99 Acer Tablet Features Dual-Core Processor

However, like many other manufacturers in the technology industry, Acer is currently trying to earn a larger place for itself in the lucrative tablet market.

At the moment, Acer ranks fifth among tablet-producing brands, but has only a 1.4 per cent share of the overall world market.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Acer will soon seek to increase its market share by releasing a $99 tablet computer called the Iconia B1. The WSJ says "a person with direct knowledge of the project" has revealed that Acer will release the device in early 2013.

The report also indicates the Iconia B1 will run Google's Android operating system. Its hardware specifications include a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution display and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. (Source:

Those specifications place it on the same level as Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and Barnes & Noble's Nook Color slate. Both of those devices, however, cost roughly $40 more than the Iconia B1's estimated price point.

The WSJ could not ascertain for certain when the device will ship to U.S. retailers. Acer has reportedly submitted the device to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval. But submission does not guarantee entry to the U.S. market.

Acer Seeks to Fill Gaping Hole in Tablet Market

Although profit margins for lower-priced tablets are slim, Daiwa Securities analyst Christine Wang says she sees an opportunity for Acer to establish itself in the Asian technology market.

"Chinese white-box tablet makers are expected to sell some 60 million tablets next year, so it is a really big market," Wang said. "None of the major PC brands sells a tablet right now priced to compete with them." (Source:

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