PC vendor Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said that lockdowns in China to control COVID-19 upended key component supply and disrupted PC production, although chip shortages have been improving.
While chip supply constraints largely eased in the first quarter, the company faces uneven supplies of key components due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told an online news conference.
“Semiconductor shortage was the biggest problem in the first half of last year,” Chen said. “Now, we are beset by a supply chain issue caused by China's lockdowns.”
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With key components unable to be delivered and backing up in warehouses, notebook computer makers have had to halt production, Chen said, adding that a full reopening, and not gradual steps, would be the only way to resume production.
Inventory has increased to about twice its normal levels due to port gridlocks, he said, adding that channel inventory has recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
“Supply and demand balance is a task we have been trying to achieve. There is a great deal of difficulty in doing it right,” Chen said.
Acer experienced a significant decline in revenue about two years ago, as it did not have sufficient inventory to satisfy sudden demand due to the work-from-home and remote learning trends, he said.
Acer now has sufficient raw materials and finished goods in stock, he said.
Demand is weakening as the war in Ukraine has stoked fears over inflation and an economic slowdown, Chen said, adding that lower household disposable income is affecting PC sales.
Worldwide PC shipments fell 3 percent annually to 118.1 million units in the first quarter, Canalys data showed.
However, commercial PCs and green PCs are growing, despite the industry downtrend, as enterprises are purchasing computers for employees returning to offices, he said, adding that sales of Acer’s green Vero PC series expanded 6 percent month-on-month last month.
Acer expects back-to-school demand and the Christmas holiday to bolster demand, Chen said, adding that new 3D technology should also stimulate PC demand.
The company yesterday launched seven new PC series including green PC series, Vero PCs, with chassis utilizing 30 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics that help reduce 21 percent in carbon emissions. The computer’s screen bezel uses 30 percent PCR plastics and the keycap uses 50 percent PCR plastics.
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