Taiwan’s Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the world’s fourth and fifth-largest notebook makers, may face more market share loss this quarter after their shipments declined significantly last quarter, while Dell Inc is looking serious about returning to the personal computer (PC) market.
In the three months ending on Monday last week, Acer saw its PC shipments decline 22.6 percent year-on-year to 6.67 million units with a global market share of 8.3 percent, while Asustek reported a 22.5 percent decline in shipments to 4.92 million units for a 6.1 percent market share, Gartner Inc said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the latest data compiled by the International Data Corp (IDC) on Wednesday showed Acer suffered a 34.5 percent annual decline in shipments to 5.48 million units and Asustek had a 34.1 percent fall to 4.21 million units in the quarter.
The two firms held a 6.7 percent and a 5.2 percent market share in IDC’s tallies respectively.
“Acer and Asustek are the worst performers in the third quarter, hurt by weakness in the segments where they are heavily exposed: consumer, Western Europe and emerging markets,” head of technology research at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets Nicolas Baratte wrote in a note yesterday.
Despite their efforts in developing hybrid devices and their emphasis on new designs, the lack of corporate PC portfolios at Acer and Asustek has limited their growth, leading Taipei-based Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業) to predict the two firms would register a decline of more than 20 percent in shipments this year.
Citigroup Global Markets also believes Dell Inc’s recent introduction of a new family of tablets and new laptops suggests that the US PC brand still has no plan to exit the industry anytime soon and it will reap share gains at the expense of Acer and Asustek.
On Wednesday last week, Dell introduced a slew of attractive new notebook and tablet models, which includes a 2-in-1 Ultrabook.
Citigroup analyst Wei Chen (陳思維) said such product offerings made clear that Dell’s intention to get back into the PC market and the company’s PC strategy could renew pricing pressure in the consumer PC segment, to which Acer and Asustek have large exposure.
“We believe that Asustek gained share in the consumer PC segment in 2011-2012 as Dell and HP retreated. With Dell reverting to a more aggressive PC strategy, easy share gains by Asustek and Acer will likely become a thing of the past,” Chen said in a note on Wednesday.
Shares of Acer have dropped 21.23 percent since the beginning of the year and those of Asustek have fallen 29.1 percent, both underperforming the 2.95 percent increase of the bellwether electronic stocks over the same period, the Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
Acer ended 0.5 percent lower at NT$19.85 on Wednesday, while Asustek was down 1.49 percent to NT$231.5.