Acer Founder: Tablets Are Fads, Post-PC Is Misguided

Acer's founder has described both tablets and Ultrabooks as short-term "fads" and scolded PC manufacturers to look to Apple's "outside-the-box thinking" with the iPad; however, the outspoken ex-exec is also unconvinced by Steve Jobs' insistence that we now live in a "post-PC" world. Stan Shih, who founded what we now know as Acer in 1976, argued that – in contrast to Apple's marginalization of the computer – PCs remain the basis of the IT industry.

Tablets, he suggested, are developed from that base, DigiTimes reports, and so future products "still need to go through the PC platform" as add-ons. Although Apple deserves praise for its iPad creativity, Shih says, tablets are still simply value-adds on top of PC sales.

The Acer founder's comments are seemingly in line with the opinions of the company's board, which clashed with former CEO Gianfranco Lanci over what's believed to be his intention to focus more on smartphones and tablets and less on notebooks and PCs. Lanci's replacement – picked from the IT Products Group – took the role with the promise to "aggressively yet cautiously develop data-consumption products, tablet PCs and smartphones based on the solid foundation of the main PC business"; reports, meanwhile, suggested that the company was restructuring so as to be more like Apple.

That caution is perhaps sensible, given Acer has dramatically scaled back its estimated tablet shipments for 2011 in the face of relative Honeycomb apathy and strong iPad sales. In fact, the company slashed its expectations by a whopping 60-percent. Customers, Shih reckons, are mainly driven by low pricing and convenience.