WALNUT, CALIF. – ViewSonic is instituting a new corporate strategy that will see the company pull out of the all-in-one PC (AIO) and the U.S consumer tablet PC market this fall.
ViewSonic had been one of the first players to enter each of these fields, but the company is refocusing its effort on a new product category it has dubbed SmartDisplays.
Jeff Volpe, ViewSonic’s president, said going forward the company’s tablet efforts will target two areas.
“ViewSonic has made the strategic decision to focus our future tablet initiatives in emerging markets and niche verticals, where we can best leverage our core competencies to fulfill technology needs in regions and markets presently underserved by the widely saturated supply of mainstream consumer tablets,” Volpe said.
Michael Holstein, ViewSonic’s business development VP, said several factors led to the decision to leave the tablet field.
“The consumer tablet market is very crowded and while we entered the space to gain awareness, we have pivoted our focus exclusively on the B to B market in the U.S.,” he said.
Holstein said the time spent developing and marketing tablet products will not go to waste.
“We’ve leveraged our tablet experience to create a new category, the SmartDisplay, which we believe is synergistic to our desktop display heritage,” he added.
The other aspect of ViewSonic new strategy has the company replacing AIOs with its SmartDisplay line. The first product in the new line is the just-introduced VSD220, which is shipping in October for $399.
Eric Wiley, ViewSonic’s product marketing manager, said the move is part of ViewSonic’s switch to a post-PC business model.
Wiley said the SmartDisplay concept allows ViewSonic to better employ its display technology and at the same time turn out a product that is half the price of an AIO and requires less user maintenance.
The company is not calling the VSD220 SmartDisplay an all-in-one PC, a category it is now in the process of withdrawing from, but an interactive display.
The dual-touch 22-inch display has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 and runs on a Texas Instruments dual-core OMAP 4 processor and has the Android 4.0 operating system.
Although it has many tablet-like features, Wiley said the SmartDisplay should really be considered one as it is not portable and connects to the Internet via Wi- Fi or Ethernet.
“In my mind I think the form factor defines the type of product — this is a stand-alone device with a keyboard,” he said.
The SmartDisplay also has three USB ports, a MicroSD card and Bluetooth. There is a 1.2-megapixel webcam and integrated microphone along with SRS Premium Sound speakers.
In addition, a SmartDisplay also has many commercial possibilities, such as retail and stand-alone kiosks, and there will be an enterprise version released during the first quarter of 2013, he added.
ViewSonic now has two AIOs on the market — the VPC191 and the VA2232 — and several tablets. Wiley said these will be phased out in October and November, and the company will continue to support them until that time.