UPDATE 2-Acer unveils tablets with 5-, 7-, 10-inch screens

* iPad still holds overwhelming lead

* WiFi models available in April 2011, 3G models later

* Dell releases new tablet separately
(Adds background, analyst comment)

By Liana B. Baker

NEW YORK, Nov 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Acer Inc (2353.TW: ), the world’s
No. 2 PC manufacturer, unveiled a range of tablet computers to
help it compete with Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.)’s (AAPL.O: ) iPad, wading into the
fast-growing market.

The tablet computer market is becoming crowded as more
companies produce the new devices, which fall between traditional
PCs and smartphones.

Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci announced at a news
conference in New York on Tuesday that the tablets would have 5-,
7-, and 10-inch screens, running on Google’s (GOOG.O: ) Android
software. A second 10-inch tablet will run on Microsoft’s
Windows.

The company said the WiFi-only models of the tablets would
come out in April 2011, while the third-generation (3G)-capable
models would arrive about a month later. The 5-inch tablet doubles
as a smartphone.

Separately Tuesday, Acer’s rival Dell Inc (DELL.O: ) announced a
new tablet that runs on Microsoft’s (MSFT.O: ) Windows software.

Acer, based in Taiwan, said it was in talks with U.S. phone
carriers for 3G connectivity for its tablets.

No prices had been set for the devices, the company added.

“It’s a gold rush right now,” said NPD analyst Ross Rubin.
“Everyone wants to get a tablet product out there.”

Apple’s iPad, a touchscreen tablet that began selling in
April, still has an overwhelming lead in the fledgling market. It
controlled 95 percent of the tablet market in the
July-to-September quarter, according to research firm Strategy
Analytics. [ID:nLDE6A01HR]

“PC vendors and hardware vendors are looking at this market
and saying ‘how will I compete with Apple?'” Gartner analyst
Carolina Milanesi said.

Tablet sales are expected to grow to 54 million units in 2011
and to more than 100 million units in 2012, according to a
forecast by research firm Gartner.

(Here’s a look at some tablets currently on the market:
[ID:nN2796840])

Acer also unveiled a screen laptop with two 14-inch LCD touch
screens called the Iconia, along with a media store and software
called Clear.fi that lets customers stream content on different
Acer devices.

Dell’s new 10-inch touchscreen Inspiron Duo looks and runs
like a portable tablet but can also be popped into a laptop shell
and used like a traditional notebook, similar to one of the new
Acer tablets. The Duo starts at $550. Dell has already released
the 5-inch Streak tablet.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Phil
Berlowitz)

UPDATE 2-Acer unveils tablets with 5-, 7-, 10-inch screens