Acer: Android not suitable for netbooks

Acer: Android not suitable for netbooks

Acer has been trialling Google's Android platform for its netbook range, but claims the operating system is not yet ready for such a task.

With Linux struggling to compete against Windows in the netbook arena, Google's Android doesn't look like it could turn the tide – at least, according to Acer.

As reported over on Maximum PC yesterday, the PC manufacturer – which is responsible for a not-inconsiderable 38.3 percent of the netbook market – has dismissed rumours that it would be looking to implement Google's open-source Linux-based Android platform on its netbook ranges.

In a statement to the press earlier in the week, Acer's head of IT Products Jim Wong said that “for a netbook, you really need to be able to view a full web for the total Internet experience – and Android is not that yet.” This position was echoed by chief executive officer Gianfranco Lanci, although admitted the company was still testing Android on netbooks to see if the platform can't be modified in such a way as to make it more plausible a solution. For now, however, it's Windows all the way on the netbook front.

Despite the knockback in the netbook market, the company is still forging ahead with a smartphone based around Google's open-source platform – claiming that Android is better suited to communication than computing. With the only official products currently running the Android platform being smartphones, it seems the market agrees – although both Hewlett-Packard and Asus claim to be working on an Android variant for their respective netbook ranges.

Assuming that Android can make the leap from 'phone platform to computing platform, it'll have an uphill struggle: with Microsoft's Windows currently accounting for a whopping 96 percent of all netbook sales and Linux-based units being dropped by many retailers, the public is near-unanimously voting for the safe and familiar.

Do you believe that Android could be a good fit for a simple netbook device, or is the platform too specialised for communications tasks to ever work out on netbook? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


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docodine 10th April 2009, 05:56 Quote
Would Android work with an ARM system, such as nVidia's Tegra?
notatoad 10th April 2009, 06:10 Quote
yes, the G-1 is an arm device. tegra might have some other stuff in there that doesn't have drivers, but android definitely works on arm.
rembo666 10th April 2009, 14:56 Quote
I own a G-1 and while I like Android a lot, it's not a fully mature package yet. It's kind of nice for me as a techie to see a system in constant evolution, but I don't imagine most consumers share my sentiment. On the other hand, it's another linux-based system, which has a benefit of probably higher adoption rate (don't quote me on this) than say gOS, even though it work only on one platform. I wouldn't call it a Windows competitor, but it's definitely a viable system for netbooks, especially if they start producing lower-cost, super-high-battery-life ARM-based netbooks.
leexgx 11th April 2009, 15:57 Quote
G1 needs bigger batt (that i have soon)
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