Acer puts hopes on Windows 8

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 09, 2013 - Page 13

Acer Inc (宏碁) says it is ready to make a turnaround by heavily marketing its Windows 8-powered PC products, but analysts think the sluggish macroeconomy will pose the biggest challenge to the global PC market.

The company yesterday forecast its notebook, netbook and tablet shipments would increase by up to 5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter.

The penetration rate of Acer’s touch-enabled Windows 8-powered notebooks and tablets is also expected to expand to 25 percent, from 15 percent of the global market last quarter, Acer said.

“Acer will continue to increase marketing, as well as research and development expenses, quarter by quarter,” Acer chairman and chief executive Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂) told an investors’ conference.

The company’s strategy this year is “to focus on driving value growth, which is profitable, and also to enhance Acer’s brand value,” he added.

Wang also praised Microsoft Corp’s moves to firmly support its hardware partners to promote the Windows 8 platform and to make key changes to the new operating system later this year.

Acer expects its operating income to break even in the second quarter.

In the first quarter, Acer’s net income grew 80.7 percent to NT$515 million from NT$285 million a year earlier, or NT$0.19 per share, backed by currency exchange gains of NT$234 million.

Barclays Capital analyst Kirk Yang (楊應超) yesterday said Microsoft’s participation in its hardware partners’ product promotion “is necessary and should be helpful.”

However, “sluggish macroeconomic conditions in the global economy will remain the biggest factor in the strength of the PC market in the second half of the year,” he added.