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Acer says it will keep making netbooks

Aspire One owners rejoice

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Acer on Wednesday in a statement said that it has no plans to phase out netbooks as it increases its focus on tablets.

The company also said that it does not foresee tablets based on Sandy Bridge processors, contrary to comments made earlier this week by an Acer sales manager in Taiwan.

Lu Bing-hsian earlier this week said that Acer would begin selling new tablet PCs in the first half of this year as it gradually phases out netbooks and that tablets would come with processors based on Intel's Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. "For the moment it is not foreseen yet... devices based on Sandy Bridge," Acer said.

Acer said the range of devices available to users is expanding and that tablets "will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks, without taking over."

Acer in November announced new tablets with 5-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch screens running on Google's Android operating system, which were also shown at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. The company also showed a tablet with a 10-inch screen running Windows 7. The company reiterated the launch plans of those devices in the statement.

The growing craze around tablet shipments has hurt PC shipments, especially netbooks, research firm IDC said last week. PC shipments for Acer, which was one of the top netbook vendors, declined year over year by 15 percent during the fourth quarter.

IDC in a separate study said that worldwide tablet shipments totalled 4.8 million in last year's third quarter. IDC is projecting 2010 tablet shipments to total 17 million units, with 44.6 million shipping in 2011.



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