Netbooks, the diminutive mobile wonders that became one of the tech world's more recent hits, is losing its spark. Proof? Acer has announced that it will be phasing out its netbook line in favor of tablet computers. Is this a grim sign of things to come (or not) for the notebooks' little brethren?
The Taiwanese titan said it will be selling 2-3 tablets in the first half of 2011.
According to Taiwan sales manager Lu Bing-hsian, "The tablet launches will begin a gradual replacement of Acer's small laptop-style netbook computers, in line with market demands." He also added that the decision is based on the direction of the market, which Acer sees to be in favor of tablets.
We don't blame Acer for taking this approach, especially when you see the iPad and the Galaxy Tab selling like hot cakes, so it just makes sense that the company join the fray. And join it will. Remember that Acer has already announced a couple of tablets late last year.
UPDATE (3 p.m., January 19, 2011): Yes, the sales manager did say that "the Taiwan-based computer giant will keep making netbooks, adding to its millions sold to date, but it will stick to simple models and manufacture fewer than in years past as tablets gain popularity." However, he also added that "they [tablets] are aimed at phasing out netbooks."
UPDATE (10:30 a.m., January 21, 2011): Please see Acer's reply here.