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Acer collapses: tablet, netbook shipments cut by up to 60%

updated 09:05 am EDT, Wed June 15, 2011

Acer scales back tablets and netbooks for 2011

Acer signaled major trouble on Wednesday through both official and unofficial sources. Company chairman JT Wang said in a shareholder meeting that the company's forecast for tablet shipments was being cut by as much as 60 percent, dropping from an originally forecast 5-7 million Iconia Tabs in 2011 down to 2.5-3 million. About 800,000 tablets were due to ship each quarter for the spring and summer.

The company would still see its total shipments beat expectations in the spring but was facing a 10 percent quarter-to-quarter drop.

A decrease in tablet shipments is likely to create problems as leaks have pointed to Acer's netbook business falling as well. Anonymous part suppliers precisely identifying Acer's tablet shipment targets also revealed that Acer had shipped between about 400,000 to 500,000 netbooks in May, or half as many as it did in April. The company wasn't about to quit the field as production would remain steady in June and July but was putting more emphasis on tablet development, Digitimes understood.

Wang promised that the summer and fall would be "considerably more stable" but has missed analyst targets for the past three quarters after repeated promises it would recover. For most of 2010, it insisted the iPad was a fad and that netbooks would regain their place. Steep PC market share drops have so far contradicted Acer's point of view and forced a reorganization around tablets and smartphones that included the ouster of CEO Gianfranco Lanci.

The company has just two tablets on the market, its modestly popular Iconia Tab A500 and the slow-selling, Windows-based W500. Some of its hopes had been pinned on the seven-inch A100, but the model has been delayed to late this year after it discovered that Android 3 wasn't optimized for such small screen sizes. The A500 undercuts the iPad in price but has been criticized for its bulkier, cheaper design as well as Android 3's shortage of tablet-native apps.

By Electronista Staff


  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001




  1. Glasspusher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000



    How's that Honeycomb/Android thingie workin' out for ya?

  1. erics

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010



    I could gloat but it is sad since we need the competition to drive down the cost.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    There Is Just Nothing Worse ...

    ... than when your Wang shrivels under pressure.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    And the loss would be?

    It would be a shame to see Acer go away. Who would fill the vacancy for making cheap, crappy computers?

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    The generic PC is a bad business model

    The Wintel phenomenon gave some bad business lessons. Some companies were built on the model that you could take the hardware designs and standards from one set of suppliers, take the software from another, and put a product on the market. The only differentiators were the efficiency of the supply chains, manufacturing costs, distribution deals, and the looks of the case. That can work for a while, but only when the product is mature, it perceived a necessary, and the category is well understood as a commodity.
    The tablet still has a low market penetration, is still a premium device, and users are still uncertain of the experience they should expect. This is not a mature, commodity market. The vendors will have to create something that defines the user experience and expectations and give them enough confidence to buy an expensive - and unnecessary - device.
    In the PC era, Apple innovated, IBM brought the legitimacy, and Microsoft the standardization. Only after a few years did the product start to stagnate and then the race to the bottom was open for the Dells, Acers, and others.
    The generic Android tablet makers will be hurting for a while, until the device becomes a commodity. It may take long, however, as Apple may not make the same mistakes and give up the market so easily this time, and Google is not Microsoft.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    No need for Acer shareholders to concern

    themselves about Apple's tablets. The Windows netbook is cheaper and does a lot more things than some over-priced iPad that doesn't have USB ports and doesn't even support Adobe Flash. Besides, tablets are just a passing fad, so Acer shareholders should just wait a few months and consumers will be throwing away their iPads and returning to buy our low-priced Windows netbooks. That Steve Jobs knows nothing about selling computer devices. We at Acer have everything under control.

  1. ludachrs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2005


    So surprising

    I just can't believe it. The sage chairman JT Wang has told investors in a conference call this week that his company is on track to overtake HP in worldwide laptop shipments before the year is through. and the visionary chairman J.T. Wang recently predicted that Appleā€™s share of the tablet market would decline precipitously as new rivals emerge, falling from nearly 100 percent to 20 to 30 percent. Perhaps he lunches with Michael Dell.

  1. macmedia1

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    they deserve it....

    Those who discount Apple's dominance over the entire computing industry are the ones who will definitely fail. These companies should admit their enormous shortcomings and shortsightedness and start really investing in innovation. Apple spends a huge amount on design, innovation and advertising to appeal to the masses. You can't sell something that no one talks about. The only way you get someone to talk about it is to make it unique, s*** and innovative.

    Look at the car industry. The Japanese foothold may soon be overtaken by the Koreans. 2 years ago the Hyundai Sonata was the laughing stock of the industry. Now it is one of the most desired lower priced cars around. Essentially the same car underneath (Apple is using the same intel architecture in their computers or the iphone is just a smartphone with a great UI) but the Sonata has a very s*** skin on top and that's why it's selling.

    Dell, HP, Acer - wake up!! The ipad, Mac and iphone are your direct competitors. You need to totally reinvent the company. Change your blood or Apple will soon kill you

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Acer could make iPads for Apple

    It's not too late. Acer could try to do a deal with Apple to make iPads and / or iPod touches.

    But only if their quality standards can be brought up to snuff. Decades of corner-cutting may be impossible to fix.

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