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By 10 August 2011 | Categories: news

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As the famous Bob Dylan song goes, the times they are a-changing, and today Acer South Africa, in a discussion with the media, revealed how they intend capitalising on the changes.

Eric Blom, Acer’s business manager for enterprise, began by highlighting the prevalence of social media, and how it has changed the minds of technology users and its customers. This, he said, had compelled an evolution within the company.

Blom elaborated that in today’s world, it was not enough to deliver products, companies had to be able to offer a range of value added services to customers that took into account what they needed and wanted in their business and personal lives.

“Users want a simpler experience when using their PCs, and want to be able to manage their content easily, as well as the choice of their operating system and applications. Additionally, they want thinner and lighter notebooks without having to sacrifice performance,” he asserted.

He pointed out that vendors had responded to this by introducing converged devices, such as seen in tablets, and improved portability and performance, as seen in top of the range notebooks.  
However, cost remained a factor, with high end tablets and notebooks costing in the region of R7000 to R8000, and R14 000 to R16 000 respectively, as compared to the low weight and portability of a netbook that cost R3000.

Blom added that many users were not interested in the CPU speed of their next smartphone, for example, while for enterprise customers, technical specifications were still important, as they sought to maximise their productivity. However, he stressed that the company intended to cater to both market segments, by focusing on particular products that addressed the unique needs of each.

According to Blom, another strong area of focus for the company moving forward was education. To this end, the company was looking at enabling digital classrooms, through a combination of netbooks, tablets, and interactive and projected whiteboards. “We want to take a more active involvement in education, than just dumping computers into a school where they end up being unused,” he elaborated.  

Additionally, he explained that, along with, or perhaps because of, the tremendous growth of social media, the company expected that content consumption would far exceed content creation over the next ten years, and this had compelled Acer to begin focusing its efforts on tablets.

However, Blom freely admitted that competition in the Android tablet space was fierce, which made differentiation essential. He explained that Acer intended to do this through delivering competitive price points, cloud based solutions as well as a distinctive look and feel. To this end, the Iconia A500 10” tablet would be joined by a more affordable  7” Iconia A100 in the next month, which is expected to come with a RRP of below R5000. Additionally, the company will launch a Windows 7 based Iconia Tab W500, which could serve double duty as a tablet and netbook.    

“Touch technology is key in the personal and business lives of people, as well as in education. As people understand tablets and touch technology in general, we believe we will see an adoption of their use going forward,” he concluded.


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