PC builder Acer has declared war on its competitors by predicting that it will emerge as the leader of the tablet market in the years to come.
The firm recently unveiled its Iconia family of tablet PCs, which run on either the Android or Windows 7 operating systems.
Speaking at the PC vendor's summer partner conference in Windsor, Acer UK managing director Bobby Watkins said the devices are a fundamental part of the firm's growth strategy.
"We are super serious about tablets and we will lead the market in the next few years, which may sound like a bold statement, given how far ahead one competitor is at the moment," explained Watkins.
"[But] we have the broadest line-up [of tablet PCs] available and a big marketing campaign in place to support our plans."
Watkins said Acer's tablet PC line-up has been warmly received by end users, but admitted there had been some initial scepticism from the firm's channel partners.
"We launched the products seven or eight weeks ago. The response was similar to when we moved into consumer PCs - when retailers told us we were not quite there compared to some other brands," he said.
Despite this, he said the firm was "pretty relaxed" by the success it has had so far.
"After [the first] three to four weeks on sale, we got to 17 per cent volume and 20 per cent of the value of the market, which is probably much better than many of the commentators in the market would have guessed," he added.
In more general terms, Watkins said the firm is comfortably ahead of its competition, citing PC market data from analyst GfK.
"If you look at the total PC market, we have about 30 per cent, which is the highest we have ever been in market share terms," he said.
However, he admitted the firm is selling more units as a ratio to revenue and margin than is sensible "at the moment", in the wake of its channel inventory woes.
"We are making some pretty bold decisions, and if I were one of our competitors with four to five per cent share, I would be feeling pretty cold and exposed right now," added Watkins.
"Market conditions are tough, and we can withstand that because of our strength in volume across our different channels."
Robert Peckham, chief executive of Apple consultancy Mac Technology, said that Acer's tablet PC line-up does not look likely to trouble Apple's dominance of the market.
"Acer's product range is impressive, but the Asus tablet is lower in price and the Motorola Xoom has good screen quality," said Peckham.
"I do not think it will pose a major threat to Apple's dominance, but it might do a good job of mopping up the rest of the market."
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