DigiTimes says that Acer shipped nine million netbooks in 2009, about two-thirds more than did second place Asustek. DigiTimes expects that Acer has nearly peaked, with little room for growth in this market, while its main competitors: Asustex, HP, and Samsung, still have plenty of room left.
To keep its lead DigiTimes expects that Acer will release early the Nvidia Ion 2-based Aspire One 532G netbook, which it showcased at the Mobile World Congress. The 532G runs on Google’s Chrome OS. Acer, it seems, is expecting to ship a million of the 532Gs in the first year.
In the wake of Google’s Chrome OS announcement last week, some have questioned the search giant’s software vision. Cofounder Sergey Brin popped in for a brief appearance at the event and made some interesting statements about the future of Chrome OS and Android. Brin said that Android and Chrome "will likely converge over time," but gave no indication of the form that might take. Indeed, the Chrome OS will reportedly have support for ARM based CPUs. Brin also talked up the similarity in the products’ code bases. Both are based on Linux and the Webkit browser rendering engine.
CEO Eric Schmidt also had something to say about Android and Chrome. The sheer murkiness of his statements is a little intriguing. Schmidt said that Chrome is for users on a real computer, a device with a keyboard and larger screen. However, he also said that Android’s real strength is its ability to run powerful PC-quality apps.
Cnet interviewer Molly Wood prodded Schmidt slightly about the possible overlap in the emerging Smartbook category. Schmidt was quick, yet broad in his dismissal saying, “let’s not prejudge what these things are best used for… our end users will ultimately judge.” Google seems to be waiting for queues from users to tell them how (if at all) these products will be integrated. So, post any thoughts you have in the comments.
But will it be worth the effort? If it’s something you really, really got to do, then yes, it will be worth the effort. For the rest of us, with episodes of The Colbert Report to catch up on, maybe not. Our colleagues over at Engadget have tried it out and report Chrome OS is “really a browser with an OS attached rather than vice versa.”
Chrome OS is browser-like in its construction, and Internet oriented. There are minimal app launcher options. And the more interesting apps, says Engadget, required a Google.com account to access. Without one you will be stuck playing with Gmail and Calendar (which Engadget reports suffer from “significant lag and choppiness”).
Google must be pleased to see the market for 3G netbooks swelling at a time when it is preparing to launch Chrome OS. Market research firm iSuppli anticipates 3G netbooks – those with embedded wireless broadband – to become even more popular in the next few years, as always-on internet becomes an integral part of the whole netbook experience. iSuppli expects 3G netbook shipments to increase by over 70%, as compared to the previous year, to reach 17.8 million units this year.
But a spike in netbook shipments doesn’t imply that it would be smooth sailing for Google’s Chrome OS. “Google must counter the high visibility of the Microsoft brand name on countless products in retail outlets, ranging from software, to PCs, to peripherals,” iSuppli advised Google.
Well, well, well. Look who decided to join the OS war. This week, the gang discusses Google's surprise announcement of their netbook-targeted Chrome OS, whether it'll be a threat to Microsoft or Apple, and how consumers will be confused by its naming scheme. Other topics of discussion include Google's services leaving beta, the hot new release of VLC, and our experience with Firefox 3.5. We also reveal details about the 2009 Dream Machines and answer a bunch of listener questions. All that plus Gordon's rant of the week on this episode of the No BS Podcast.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Google's announcement of Chrome OS hasn’t quite riled Intel’s feathers, if Michael Chen, director of Intel's embedded sales group (Asia-Pacific), can be taken for his word. As Chrome OS will primarily be targeted at MID devices, netbooks and nettops, it will always be on collision course with Moblin. For those of you who don’t know, Moblin is an open source OS that Intel developed for the above named device categories. "Our long-term goal is providing hardware for devices with different operating systems... more competition will drive up more innovations and that's good for consumers." Michael Chen said. Intel’s lack of concern is not entirely unprecedented, for companies usually greet a rival’s product with either customary skepticism or dubious unconcern. (Certified fake screenshot below)