We're continually amazed by the avalanche of new tablets that continue to rain down on us given that the iPad is the only example of the genre that has raised any kind of true interest from the buying public.
And with this morning's news that Acer has slashed its tablet sales forecast for the year by as much as 60%, we're wondering if the truth is finally starting to dawn on over-eager manufacturers.
The iPad didn't invent the tablet genre, but it absolutely invented the successful tablet genre, being the first of its kind to generate that all-important desire element among the public.
Manufacturers have responded by seeing the tablet market as some brave new world just waiting to be pillaged and plundered, as if the iPad opened the door to some aching consumer desire none of us know existed.
The result has been a relentless barrage of shiny tablet wannabes, far more than can be sustained by even the most optimistic level of public interest.
So while Acer's slashing of its tablet sales forecast for the year by 60% makes for a good headline, the only real surprise is that it's come out and said as much. Then again, Acer has missed its last three quarterly forecasts, so maybe it's just getting the pain out of the way early.
However, the company still seems to believe in that magical turnaround, when the general public finally awakens to the insatiable desire for tablets. “The third quarter will be considerably more stable. It will be similar to the second quarter or better,” Acer chairman JT Wang told shareholders this morning. “The fourth quarter will be even better.”
The fourth quarter is always better, of course, because of that thing called Christmas.
For Acer, though, things are starting to look a bit troubled. Aside from dropping its tablet forecast for the year from 5-7 million to just 2.5-3 million, it's also trimmed its PC shipment targets too. Overall, the company's share price has fallen 30% since the end of March.