Thu, Feb 06, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Acer to expand its cloud services

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Acer Inc (宏碁), the world’s fourth-biggest PC brand, yesterday said it aims to grow its revenue this year by launching more new products and services, including those using cloud-computing technology, to make up losses in PC sales.

“Overall, Acer is gaining ground against the challenges facing the PC industry, and we remain optimistic that we will address these challenges step by step,” Acer president and chief executive officer Jason Chen (陳俊聖) said on the sidelines of a corporate event yesterday.

Chen expects revenue to increase this year from last year’s NT$360.19 billion (US$11.84 billion), while the firm’s gross margin will also improve from last year, supported by operational efficiency enhancement.

Acer has not yet released a detailed financial report for last year.

As early as June, Acer will launch a series of new products bundled with the company’s “Build Your Own Cloud” (BYOC) platform at the annual Computex tech fair in Taipei, Acer chairman Stan Shih (施振榮) told reporters.

Shih said he sees the new service as one of the company’s advantages adding: “Not every hardware maker has the ability to develop software products backed by cloud computing technologies.”

“Acer decided to develop the BYOC platform because this is a brand-new market that no company has touched before,” Shih said.

Maverick Shih (施宣輝), the eldest son of Stan Shih and also president of Acer’s BYOC and tablet business department, yesterday said that another of Acer’s cloud-computing services, the “AcerCloud” online data storage platform, attracted more than 1 million users last year.

Citing research conducted by Acer, Maverick Shih said currently only 8 percent of AcerCloud’s users access the platform on a regular basis. To increase users’ “stickiness,” Acer this year plans to introduce new data-sharing functions on the platform, he added.

Acer also plans to ship more tablets to boost revenue.

Asked about reports that the company plans to ship 10 million tablets this year, Stan Shih said Acer “will be working hard to achieve aggressive growth and will certainly look forward to reaching this target.”

Acer will try to differentiate its tablet products in the highly competitive market by featuring its own BYOC cloud services, which will be upgraded with new features, such as photo-sharing, Shih said.

The Commercial Times, citing Acer suppliers, estimated in a report on Jan. 6 that Acer shipped 5 million tablets last year, meaning that Acer will have to double its shipments to reach its target for this year.

Additional reporting by CNA.

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