August 05, 2011, 3:22 PM — According to Acer founder Stan Shih, 29 million iPad owners are wrong.
Not to mention all the other deluded fools running out and buying any other tablet computers.
Because Shih knows something those easily impressed marks don't know: Tablet PCs and ultrabooks are fads! Just like pet rocks and Jersey Shore!
Commenting on Apple bringing tablet PC and smartphone products into the PC market to compete with PC players and creating a great impact on PC demand, Shih pointed out that PCs are the base of the IT industry and tablet PCs are also developed from the base; therefore, in the future, products will still need to go through the PC platform to create even more add-on value.
Now, if Shih essentially is saying "a computer is a computer is a computer," well, that's hard to argue with. But form factor matters because -- at least when it's done right -- it improves the customer experience. And that's what Apple addressed with the iPad. It gave people an incredibly portable computing device that features touch-screen technology and a virtual keyboard. Not everyone's cup of tea, but that hardly makes it a fad.
Of course, there's money to be made in fads, and Acer's not standing on the tablet sidelines. The Taiwan-based computer company is coming out with its own 7-inch tablet PC for about $345, well under the $499 starting price for an iPad.
Shih's not the only technology executive to question the long-term future of tablets. Back in March, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's global chief of research and strategy, said, "I don't know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not."
The Zune, on the other hand, will be with us forever!
Read more of Chris Nerney's Tech Business Today blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.