Acer Android Netbook Also Includes Windows, Report Says
Acer's flying leap into Google's mobile operating system apparently comes with a reinforced safety net. The new Acer Android-based netbooks will run a Windows OS as well, Digitimes is reporting. If carrier and consumer demand for Android notebooks increases, reducing the risk, Acer says it will consider offering Android as a sole operating system.
New details have emerged regarding Acer's
June 2 announcement that it will be shipping netbooks running the Google
Android operating system. According to Digitimes, based in Taipei,
Taiwan, the netbooks will
be dual-OS and run both Android and Windows.
Acer Chairman JT Wang believes consumer acceptance of Android is still unclear, according to Digitimes; while it seemed Acer was making a splash in choosing Android, the company is instead more likely dipping in a toe to test the waters.
"The idea of Android on a netbook is compelling," John Spooner, an analyst with Technology Business Research, told eWEEK after the initial Acer news. Spooner pointed out that Gmail, Google Docs and other applications are all available on Android, and that a lot of loyalty to Windows simply has to do with familiarity.
Strategy Analytics says Android is the fastest-growing smartphone OS, and it expects to see growth of 900 percent in 2009. Click here to read more.
There was a hope, too, that Android could potentially lower the already low prices of netbooks. With a dual-OS platform, however, this possibility disappears.
"The second operating system increases the complexity of the netbook and may lead to increased support costs, which Acer will need to account for in the purchase price. On the other hand, Acer will be able to promote Android as a value-added feature, similar to Asustek Computer's Express Gate, to account for any price premium," reported Digitimes.
Acer's Wang reportedly offered that he wouldn't rule out shipping an Android-only netbook, should demand from wireless carriers increase.
In the United States, carriers have been offering netbooks bundled with 3G service and smartphone-like subsidy plans. On June 4, Ericsson launched a module for embedding wireless broadband in netbooks, which it hopes will enable carriers to bring the products to market more quickly.