Fri, Nov 23, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Acer, Asustek look to increase share of notebook sales

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

DisplaySearch has forecast that global notebook shipments will reach 120 million units next year, and local manufacturers Acer and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) are sharpening their product lineups to grab a large share of those sales.

Acer, the third-largest computer maker in the world, hopes to increase notebook sales from 20 million units this year to 25 million next year.

To do so, the company will continue to focus on mainstream 12 inch, 14 inch, 15 inch and 17 inch models for the time being, but may consider jumping into the low-cost notebook market if that segment attracts a more than 30 percent market share, Acer president Scott Lin (林顯郎) told a press briefing in Taipei yesterday featuring Major league baseball player Wang Chien-ming (王建民).

"Acer will look at sales percentages before considering switching focus to the low-cost notebook market," Lin said.

Low-cost laptops, such as Asustek's Eee PC launched last month, have captured the attention of the public.

However, Asustek, the world's largest motherboard maker, will ship only 250,000 of its Eee PCs this quarter, less than originally forecast, Benson Lin (林宗樑), general manager for Asustek Asia Pacific, said at a separate event.

On Oct. 30, the company estimated that it would ship 400,000 Eee PCs this year.

Shipments are down because of "production issues," Benson Lin said, without elaborating.

The notebooks, which are manufactured at the company's factories in Shanghai, are currently out of stock.

Asustek is making "as many as we can," he said.

While it remains to be seen whether low-cost laptops will become a major profit earner, Scott Lin said Wang's contribution to Acer's sales is significant.

"According to a market research survey conducted by a well-known agency, Acer's notebook sales have increased by 10 percent since Wang became the voice of the company two years ago," Scott Lin said. "The survey found out that 68 percent of respondents knew Wang was the voice of Acer."

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