A look at some of the big stories in mobile today: Acer cuts its tablet forecast; Facebook apparently lining up a new photo app; some consolidation in the GPS space; LightSquared gets more scrutiny; Skype on HP’s new TouchPad.
– Acer: It turns out that even if you are a leader in PCs, extending that to tablets is not at all automatic. Acer, the laptop giant, has cut its tablet shipment taret for 2011 by a whopping 60 percent. Originally, it had predicted that it would ship 800,000 tablets each quarter for Q2 and Q3 of this year, writes Reuters. That means the target for the full-year will be 2.5 million-3 million units, compared to Acer’s earlier estimate of 5 million-7 million units The company has not had the greatest year: last month it posted a nearly 30 percent drop in total sales compared to the same month a year before; and when its CEO Gianfranco Lanci resigned one of the reported reasons had to do with problems around the company’s mobile products strategies. Its big launch has been the Acer Iconia, which is part tablet, part netbook.
– Facebook: The social network may be losing active users in some key markets like the U.S., but it is also creating new services to squeeze out more activity from those that are active, and attract more of those who are not. TechCrunch is reporting that it is gearing up to launch a standalone photo app for mobile that links up its location-aware services with its huge repository of images, pitting it more directly against the likes of Instagram and Path.
– Garmin/Navigon: Some consolidation underway in the area of GPS devices and services. U.S.-based Garmin is buying German-based Navigon AG for an undisclosed sum. The deal will give Garmin a leg up in Europe, where Navigon will be combined with an existing Garmin subsidiary, and will add some strength in in-car navigation systems as well as mobile apps to Garmin’s portfolio. It will also mean a meatier competitor to the other European giant, Tom Tom.
– LightSquared: Ahead of an official report on interference issues due to the FCC today from the would-be LTE operator LightSquared itself, GM, whose OnStar GPS service says it has problems from LightSquared interference, has requested further testing (via Bloomberg).
– Skype/HP: There may still be questions about whether HP’s TouchPad tablet will have services like cloud music, but one thing it does seem to have is Skype integration, including powering the device’s native video calling app, according to PreCentral. Given the competition between HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), though, could that get quickly switched over to another service if that Microsoft acquisition of Skype goes through?