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.