Friday, December 28, 2012
Acer Iconia B1 $99 Tablet Launching in 2013
Acer, the Taiwanese PC giant, is ready to set the gadget world on its ears with a new $99 tablet set to compete in the emerging low cost market against, Amazon, Google, and Barnes & Noble. This is big news as Acer is already the manufacturer behind Google's Nexus 7 devices which have been a huge success for the company at the $199 price point.
Acer is planning to launch the Iconia B1, a $99 tablet that runs the Google Android operating system, early in the first quarter of 2013, a source close to the project has disclosed to the Wall Street Journal. The $99 tablet is set to feature a 7 inch display much like the Nexus 7, with a pixel resolution of 1024 x 600, and a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.
Acer's plan for the $99 tablet would beat its competitors in the low cost tablet market, many of whom rushed to bring their tablets to consumers this past year, with aggressively priced options in the $150-200 range. Amazon offers a 7-inch Kindle Fire which is priced at $159 for an 8GB model and also boasts a Kindle Fire HD in their lineup which starts at $199. Barnes & Noble on the other hand offers the Nook Color HD, also 7 inches, at $199 for a 8GB Model. The iPad Mini, which measures 7.9 inches starts at $329 for the 16GB Model.
For those looking for a cheap starter tablet the Acer is a great option, but there is one hiccup that could present itself. The $99 Acer tablet is aimed at emerging markets and although the device has been submitted to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for clearance, there is no confirmation on whether it will be sold in the United States at this time.
Acer also could open the door for competition at this $99 price point. Google is ready to go even lower on their margins than the $199 Nexus 7 and could be pushing a tablet as low as $99 in the very near future. However, this tablet might not be $99 from launch, as it has been rumored to start in the $129 or $149 range and work its way down.
Either way you draw it up, Acer is going to be great for the consumer as it will undoubtedly bring competition into the tablet market, and force other manufacturers to bring low-cost tablets and gadgets into the marketplace for consumers.
- Sam Victor