updated 07:50 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Acer continues shift to mobile to counter iPad
Acer continues to reduce its orders for traditional PC notebook parts through August as it continues to struggle in the face of the iPad effect. According to Digitimes Taiwanese supply chain sources, Acer is unlikely to boost parts orders until September. In particular, its once popular netbooks have lost any sales momentum, while it continues to realign its growth strategy around its Iconia Android-powered tablet range.
IDC sales data from Q4 2010 showed that the iPad had cut dramatically into Acer's sales during the fall last year. During this period, its overall market share dropped from 15 percent to 10.6 percent. The same pattern continued through Q1 2011, with IDC data again showing that Acer's slow response to address the new tablet segment spawned by Apple. This resulted in its PC shipments plummeting by 42.1 percent for the same period year over year.
Dumped Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci had pinned Acer's dramatic sales slump on its refusal to hire more foreign engineers to help develop an iPad competitor. Perhaps an indication of the mindset that Lanci was faced with at Acer was expressed in recent comments by Acer's founder Stan Shih who restated his position that tablets are a temporary fad.
Regardless of whether Acer's current management agrees with its founder's position, it is now putting considerable energy into the tablet segment with its Iconia range of tablets. Starting in August, Acer is expected to increase its tablet shipments from 700,000 to 800,000 units in Q2 to 800,000 to 900,000 units in Q3.
Acer's short to medium term goal is to reach annual tablet shipments of 2.5 to 3 million units, which it hopes will reverse its declining fortunes over the past twelve months. The has also just announced its first entry into to the smartphone segment will begin shipping this September.