Tue, Feb 19, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Acer sees 10% to 15% fall in notebook sales in Q1

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s fourth-largest PC vendor, yesterday forecast a 10 to 15 percent sequential drop in notebook shipments this quarter because of seasonal factors, a company official said.

The sequential decline is also a result of replacement demand for new products — including mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets — as well as new Windows 8-supported products, Acer CEO Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) said.

Wang told reporters on the sidelines of a corporate event that the notebook market had been turbulent over the past two years, with Apple Inc’s products regaining market share.

While Microsoft introduced a new operating system in October last year to take on Apple, demand for Windows 8 personal computers remains lukewarm, he said.

However, Wang remained optimistic, saying as long as Microsoft continues promoting its new operating system and its Surface tablet, demand for Windows 8-powered PCs could receive a boost.

For this year, Wang forecast that the tablet market would continue to be the main driver of Acer’s sales growth.

Acer’s new 7-inch budget tablet the Iconia B1-A71, which sells for less than NT$5,000 (US$168), has generated huge sales for the firm after its launch last month. The company plans to release more low to mid-end tablets this year, he said.

Acer plans to ship more than 5 million tablets this year, up from 1.8 million last year, Wang said.

Acer “has a good chance” of seeing sales rebound in the next quarter with the launch of new Windows 8-supported products, he said.

Sales are forecast to grow on a quarterly basis beginning next quarter, he added.

Of the 5 million tablets to be shipped this year, 7-inch tablets are forecast to account for between 15 and 20 percent, Acer president Jim Wong (翁建仁) told reporters.

Acer has also set a shipment target of 2 million units for its smartphone products this year, about four times the 500,000 units shipped last year, Wong said.

The company also reported yesterday that its consolidated revenue shrank last month to NT$26.34 billion. That represents a drop of 15.56 percent from NT$31.2 billion in January last year.

Acer did not elaborate on its sales performance.

The company’s weak sales performance reflected its diminishing competitiveness against its major domestic rival, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), whose consolidated revenue last month reached NT$40.11 billion.

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