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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but… it looks like only one of the two Chromebooks that were scheduled for release today is actually hitting the market- The Samsung S5. The Acer Cromia’s pulled one hell of a disappearing act- it’s nowhere to be seen. This bodes ill for Acer, as well as for everyone who was looking forward to getting their hands on the Cromia (myself included). What happened?
For many of you, this probably feels like it came right out of the blue, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not like Acer hasn’t been committed to the idea of the Chromebook. As early as 2010, Acer’s chairman J.T. Wang vowed that his company would be the first OEM to launch a Chrome OS device, setting the timeframe in the last quarter of that year. Granted, not a particularly realistic timeframe, but..still. Something’s not right here.
Turns out, Acer can’t seem to get their act together.
Firstly, I don’t know of many people-really, any-who’ve actually gotten their hands on a Cromia yet, whereas there are already several reviews posted regarding the Series 5. See, apparently Acer failed to send out demo models to several review websites last week. That in itself sent up red flags for a lot of reviewers. What was worse, they weren’t even clear on when the models would be available for review. Again, warning lights are going off.
What’s more, They’re not even clear on the price. Amazon had the price for the non-3G model of Acer’s Cromia at $379.99. That’s thirty dollars higher than the originally cited price of the model. JR Raphael of Android World sent an inquiry on Monday about the discrepancy to Acer, a spokesperson responded by simply stating “They should update the price in the next day or so.” Okay.
Believe me, it gets worse. Come yesterday, Acer hadn’t even figured out what their product would be called. Amazon had it listed as the “Acer Cromia Chromebook.” When Raphael questioned Acer on it, their response was that they were still “confirming the official name.” This was yesterday. Way to go, guys.
Honestly, this whole situation sucks, but…I guess we really should have seen this coming. Acer hasn’t exactly encountered smooth sailing lately. They lost their CEO last year. They’ve recently reduced tablet shipments by 60%, and still don’t seem entirely certain how to manage the tablet industry. What’s more, they’ve missed their last three quarterly forecasts, and sales have been dropping. Basically, the company’s in turmoil right now- and that turmoil’s having a rather adverse effect on the company’s organization, if the recent Chromebook issues are any indication.
Acer’s stated that the Cromia will be shipping later this month. No word yet on when, and I wouldn’t hold your breath for a concrete date.