Acer has been taking over the budget tablet space as of late with its Iconia B1-A71 model tablets and is set to add an eight and a ten-inch model to that line. With Acer already shipping 200,000-300,000 tablets every month, they are prospected to hit the 10 million tablets shipped point later in this year.
Acer originally showed us an 8GB version of the B1-A71 at CES in January. The B1-A71 8GB comes equipped with 7-inch diagonal WSVGA capacitive multitouch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution display. The device is powered by a middle of the road Mediatek dual-core 1.2GHz processor (MTK 8317T) with 512MB of DDR3 memory. Of course, there are 8GB of internal storage, and the tablet also comes with a MicroSD expansion slot that will support up to a 32GB micro-sd card. The budget line comes along with the standard connectivity resources such as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 technology as well as GPS. The original 8GB model comes standard with a 2,710 mAh battery to keep the rest of this guy buzzing along.
This week at Mobile World Congress Acer added a 16GB version of the tablet to the mix and aside from the extra storage, these two models are exactly the same. The best part though, and what keeps these things moving out the door, is the price. The 8GB model debuted at $150, and has obviously been a big hit across the globe. The 16GB model will go for right about $180. Unfortunately, these devices are not available in the United States, and there are no plans to make them available here.
Where these tablets are available makes all the difference for getting this kind of sales numbers. The 8GB model was originally released in India, and spread to many other parts even finding a spot amongst the shoppers in Brittain’s supermarkets. The 16GB model will be available in India as well as most of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, immediately, and I assume it will go to about the same places as the 8GB model. There is a very high demand for budget tablets in these parts of the world, and Acer will soon be adding a couple of more offerings as well. As, I mentioned before we will see both a 10-inch model of the B1 as well as an 8-inch size that has been gaining in popularity post the Apple iPad Mini and now the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung.
Sources from inside the Acer supply chain have thrown out the 10 million devices shipped number due to this heightened demand in the budget tablet space. They expect Acer to drop the price of the current 7-inch models of the tablet to make room for the 8 and 10-inch models to be priced at a very competitive $150 and $200 respectively. The 8-inch model is said to begin production in April and bidding is currently underway between Wistron (set to produce the 8-inch model) and Compral Electronics (current producer of the B1-A71) for the production rights of the 10-inch device.
Acer has a chance to be very disruptive with this line in many parts of the world and that 10 million device mark will bring much bragging rights to the Taiwanese company. If you are in one of the locales that these device are available or will be available, will you grab one up? For those of us in the good old USA; Do you envy not being able to pick up budget tablets from more quality manufacturers or do you even have a desire to have such an option? Let us know in the comments.