Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Acer expects strong shipment growth

GREAT ASPIRATIONS Since it is at least two quarters ahead of its competitors in releasing new products, the Taiwanese firm has a good chance of surpassing HP


Acer chairman Wang Jeng-tang shows off one of Acer’s super-thin energy-saving notebook computers in Beijing yesterday. Wang said that lightweight models like this will make up 50 percent of notebook sales two years from now.


Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s third-largest personal computer vendor, said shipments this quarter would rise as much as 30 percent as it introduces low-power laptops that may help it challenge Hewlett-Packard Co (HP) for top spot in the notebook market.

“The PC is a must-have product and everyone needs to use it,” chairman Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) said at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. “Everyone is still buying. So overall, it’s still a good outlook.”

Acer’s overall PC shipments will climb between 25 percent and 30 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, led by notebook growth, Wang said. That would comprise a fall of between 5 percent and 10 percent in the company’s desktop shipments and a rise of between 35 percent and 40 percent in its combined notebook and netbook shipments, he said.

Acer has outpaced rivals as its Aspire One took the top spot for computers costing less than US$500, a market whose shipments are forecast to double this year as consumers switch to lower-cost products amid the global recession.

The company yesterday released the Aspire Timeline notebook running on Intel Corp’s consumer ultra low voltage (CULV) platform. It has a longer battery life than similarly priced models and could help it pass HP.

“The Aspire Timeline notebook can save up to 33 percent energy compared with typical notebooks,” Acer said in a press statement.

The Timeline retails at US$799 and has an eight-hour battery life. It is 24mm thick, 0.5cm bulkier than Apple Inc’s Macbook Air, which sells for US$1,799.

The company also introduced yesterday the new AspireOne netbook with 11.6-inch screen, the new net-top AspireRevo, 24-inch Acer All-in-One, and the new Acer Aspire 8935 and 5935 models, which are multi-media notebooks for extreme performance users.

“They’re at least two quarters ahead of HP and Dell in releasing new products, which gives them a great advantage,” said Calvin Huang (黃文堯), who rates the company “buy” at Daiwa Securities Group in Taipei. “Acer could take top spot from HP in notebooks next year as they continue to gain share.”

Acer climbed 0.4 percent to close at NT$55.80 in Taipei, while the benchmark TAIEX index fell 2.39 percent. The stock has climbed 31 percent this year, compared with the TAIEX’s 19 percent increase.

“In two years, notebooks that are thin and light, with an eight-hour battery life and at an affordable price, will represent about 50 percent of the total notebook market,” Wang said in Beijing. “These products are in high demand.”

Acer will also release a desktop computer designed for Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 7 operating system, three notebooks under its eMachines brand and plans to enter the smartphone market in China by the end of the year, the company said.

Acer is in talks with Chinese telecom operators to supply phones, Wang said.

The company also expects to release third-generation netbooks globally by the end of the year and fourth-generation models next year, he said.

Meanwhile, after much research on consumer behavior, Acer will be implementing a new multi-brand strategy this year, which provides distinct brand value while avoiding cannibalization.

Gateway in the US and Packard Bell in emerging markets will target style and trend users by offering simple, easy-to-use devices, while eMachines will aim at pragmatic users who are looking for simplicity and value per dollar, Acer said in the statement.

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