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Acer (TPE:2353) plans to introduce an
e-reader tablet computer and an online apps store by the middle of 2010,
joining a field that grows more crowded every day. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
is expected to introduce its long-rumored tablet computer this week.

Acer told
Bloomberg of its plans
during an interview last week. The company is also
said to be planning to introduce a netbook in 2010.

“[The tablet and e-reader market] is an emerging market that has many
similarities to the laptop market, and it will likely cannibalize that market
somewhat,” Enderle Group principal analyst Rob Enderle told Channel Insider.

“So, assuming these things take off, it would be wise for most PC vendors to be
looking at it and most are,” he said. “Acer is one of the most aggressive
of the PC vendors, and it is clear they aren’t letting this one slide.”

Acer could not immediately be reached for comment on whether the new devices will
be available for sale through its reseller channel partners.

Acer had won
much favor with reseller channel partners
over the years as a
channel-friendly PC maker. But the company’s moves into retail markets may
have eroded some of that good will over the past few years. Still, Acer
introduced a new program for partners
last summer, designed to reward those
who showed a commitment to Acer.

Also last summer Acer
introduced a new nettop PC aimed at business users
and sold through the
company’s reseller channel. It priced at less than $400 and is equipped with an
Intel Atom processor.

BusinessWeek
noted that Acer was actually a pioneer in the tablet market
, but was ahead
of its time, finding that consumer appetites for the device were low when it
was introduced in 2002.