Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday launched three new Ultrabook series in Taiwan, but warned the company has become more conservative about the ultra-thin notebook computers this year because of a delay in Intel Corp’s new chipsets and macroeconomic uncertainties.
The world’s No. 4 PC vendor said it expects Ultrabooks to account for 12 to 15 percent of its total notebook shipments this year, lower than its previous forecast of 12 to 20 percent, said Scott Lin (林顯郎), the Taiwanese company’s senior vice president and president of its Greater China operations.
“We have revised our forecast because Intel delayed shipments of its Ivy Bridge processors for one month, while the global economic prospects remain gloomy,” Lin said at a product launch for the 13-inch Aspire S5 Ultrabook as well as the 14-inch and 15.6-inch Aspire Timeline Ultrabooks.
According to Lin, the shipment date of the faster Intel Core i5 and i7 processors was delayed from last month to June 3, while the entry-level Core i3 processors are scheduled for delivery in August.
“Acer has sold the most Ultrabooks since it began Ultrabook sales in the fourth quarter last year and Acer has been the world’s most actively engaged vendor in the Ultrabook business,” Lin said.
BACK AT NO. 2
He said the company had reclaimed the world’s No. 2 notebook position in the first quarter, according to market researcher IDC’s tallies, with a global market share of 14.4 percent, behind Hewlett-Packard Co’s 17.5 percent share and ahead of Lenovo Group Ltd’s (聯想) 13.4 percent share.
Acer president Jim Wong (翁建仁) told an investors’ conference on April 26 that the company’s Ultrabook shipments were slightly more than 200,000 units in the first three months of the year, a level similar to the number shipped in the fourth quarter last year.
The company planned to more than double its Ultrabook shipments in the second quarter from the first quarter, Wong said at the time.
Lin yesterday projected that the Ultrabook category would account for 25 to 30 percent of Acer’s total notebook shipments next year, thanks to the impending full launch of the touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system, up from 6 percent in the second quarter of this year.
The company saw a very volatile year last year, following the departure of chief executive and president Gianfranco Lanci and a subsequent loss of market share.
After making losses in the second and third quarters last year, Acer began to turn a profit, albeit slight, in the fourth quarter as well as the first quarter of this year.
Acer has seen the opportunity created by the combination of Ultrabooks and Windows 8 and would take advantage of the opportunity to reach another peak for the brand, Lin said.
Lin said Acer is currently the No. 2 PC vendor in China, behind Lenovo.
Emphasizing the importance of establishing marketing channels and logistics in China, Lin said that Acer currently has three major distributors, about 1,600 Acer stores in cities with populations of less than 2 million and more than 30 branches throughout China.
Acer plans to add 400 stores to these smaller cities per year for the next three years, he added.