updated 01:15 pm EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
Acer posts second straight loss on tablet impact
Acer continued to struggle in coping with Apple on Friday after it posted a loss equivalent to $36.3 million. The drop wasn't as steep as the $234.2 million from the spring thanks to the Taiwan PC bulider writing off the $150 million in 'abnormalities' of unsold PCs in Europe. The result still dashed earlier hopes of turning back to profit for Acer, which still expects to post an overall loss for the year.
The loss followed after results showed it continuing to sink in PC share, enough that IDC saw it knocked under Dell and Lenovo worldwide and entirely out of the top five PC makers in the US.
Its results came just weeks after Acer repeated its near-constant practice of claiming the iPad's imminent death and a return to conditions from before Apple's tablet had reached the market. Although Acer leapt into tablets this year and has been modestly successful, it has still depended heavily on low-end notebooks and netbooks for most of its sales this year and will have been one of the primary victims of a broader switch from buying cheap notebooks to iPads.
Most of Acer's hope for the end of 2011 on is in ultrabooks like the Aspire S3. Along with providing a MacBook Air alternative, Acer hopes the system will be thin, light, and fast enough to persuade customers it will fill a role a tablet would have occupied instead.