Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said it is aiming to become a lifestyle brand following the launch of new energy drink in a livestream on Tuesday night.
The beverage, called Predator Shot, is perhaps one of the computer company’s most surprising attempts in expanding the Predator gaming line.
Seeking to repackage Acer as a lifestyle brand, the company has announced several accessories vaguely related to PCs, including a gaming inspired massage chair in collaboration with Singapore’s OSIM International Ltd (傲勝國際) and a sling bag sporting the green Acer logo.
“Our energy drink will help boost gamers’ energy and reduce fatigue resulting from too much screen time,” Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told a news conference at the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City, while also unveiling a collagen drink that targets female gamers.
Citing a saturated market, Chen said the company has to seek new growth beyond the PC industry.
“Forty years ago it [the PC industry] is considered a high-tech industry, but now it is no longer the case,” Chen said
“We cannot [afford to] stay in such a mature market and expect things to get better,” he added.
Still, Acer has witnessed a boom this quarter as sales over the past two months surged on the back of robust demand fostered by the growing trend for distance learning and work-from-home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With orders throughout the fall remaining high, the company is optimistic about its PC business in the second half of the year.
“[The increase] in demand from distance learning is phenomenal... We are having trouble satisfying up to one-third of our orders,” Acer cochief operating officer and president of corporate marketing, business planning and operations Tiffany Huang (黃資婷) said.
The imbalance between supply and demand is compounded by persistent supply chain disruptions across the PC industry, Huang said.
“As some countries remain under lockdown, some plants are unable to resume production... The delay of one component can lead to another,” she said, adding that the company is talking with suppliers to resolve shortages of components and raw materials.
China is set to become the largest growth driver for the company this year.
“Due to our relatively small presence on the Chinese market and the country’s early recovery [from the pandemic], we believe it holds great potential,” Huang said, adding that Acer is witnessing a growth rate higher than the PC industry’s average.
However, Acer’s performance in other countries across the Asia-Pacific region — including India and Indonesia — might be affected by continuous strict COVID-19 containment measures.
Last year, India and Indonesia accounted for about 25 percent of the company’s sales in the region.
Demand from the European and US markets is expected to continue on an upward trend due to their relatively rapid online migrations, the company said.
SUPPLY CHAIN RESHUFFLE: The chipmaker was ‘cautious’ in not making commitments too early in building production in the US, citing ‘geopolitical factors,’ Nikkei Asia said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is considering building an advanced IC packaging plant in the US following a massive investment to set up a wafer fab in Arizona, Nikkei Asia reported. TSMC was considering the plant in response to “Washington’s desire to bring more of the tech supply chain onto home turf,” the report said. TSMC increasingly faces the need to expand in the US, which accounts for about 62 percent of its total sales, Nikkei Asia said, citing three sources who declined to be named. The potential US plant would be equipped with the latest 3D stacking technologies to arrange chips
As much as the US pines for the good old days of global semiconductor supremacy, Japan feels its loss of glory even more. Once a dominant name in electronic components, the nation has been overtaken by Taiwan, South Korea, and, more recently, China. Yet Tokyo might have a viable plan to revitalize its domestic sector. “Unlike the purely domestic, independent way it was done in the past, I think we need to cooperate with overseas counterparts,” Akira Amari, a former economy minister and senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told Bloomberg News’ Isabel Reynolds and Emi Nobuhiro this week. That is
Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric vehicle (EV) division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts, people familiar with the situation said. The tech giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo Inc, a developer of self-driving EVs. Before cofounding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a
MARKET BOOST: Elon Musk said Tesla would resume bitcoin transactions once there is ‘reasonable’ clean energy usage by miners and denied selling a big part of his holdings Bitcoin yesterday hit a two-week peak just shy of US$40,000, after another weekend reacting to tweets from Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk, who fended off criticism over his market influence and said Tesla sold bitcoin, but might resume transactions using it. Bitcoin has gyrated to Musk’s views for months since Tesla announced a US$1.5 billion bitcoin purchase in February and said it would take the cryptocurrency in payment. He later said the electric vehicle maker would not accept bitcoin due to concerns over how mining the currency requires high energy use and contributes to climate change. “When there’s confirmation of reasonable