Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Acer looks to regain No. 3 PC spot

AGgRESSIVE PUSH:Providing former CEO Lanci has not taken Acer’s European customers with him, thin and light laptops should cause a rebound in Acer’s sales

Staff writer, with CNA

Acer Inc (宏碁) is poised to win back ground from its rivals this year and reclaim its spot as one of the world’s top three PC makers, thanks to an aggressive push in promoting thin and light laptops, a Taipei-based research firm said yesterday.

Among leading PC brands, Acer has posted a relatively better performance in notebook shipments recently after undertaking a major adjustment in its operational strategy last year, according to a statement from Digitimes Research.

The company has also aggressively expanded its product mix of ultra-thin notebooks this year, the statement said.

Shipments of worldwide notebook computers appeared to regain some momentum last month, as the hard disk drive supply returned to normal and Apple Inc’s New iPad tablet launched last month seemed to have had a limited impact on the notebook market, Digitimes added.

“If Acer’s former CEO Gianfranco Lanci does not shake Acer’s sales and relationships with distributors in Europe after he takes over the European operations at Lenovo Group [this month], Acer will have a big chance to return to its position among the top three vendors,” Digitimes Research senior research analyst Joanne Chien (簡佩萍) said.

The notebook market will benefit not only from the Ultrabook, a lightweight laptop promoted by chip maker Intel, but also from slightly cheaper “ultra-like” notebooks priced between US$600 and US$1,000 which have been introduced by Acer this year, Chien said.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Acer dropped from its No. 3 position for the same period a year earlier, ranking as the world’s fourth-largest PC maker with a 10.56 percent market share, according to research firm International Data Corp.

Acer trails behind Hewlett Packard Co’s 16.31 percent, Lenovo’s (聯想) 14.04 percent and Dell Inc’s 12.91 percent, the research firm said.

In addition to market and product development, Chien said that PC makers and their suppliers should not ignore the political risks related to their Chinese factories after the removal of Bo Xilai (薄熙來) as party chief of Chong-qing in southwestern China.

Chien suggested that the PC supply chain would move to the southwest China area at a slower pace than before, given softness in overall PC demand and China’s fast-rising labor costs.

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