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Acer thankful HP PC group survives to fight Apple

updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon October 31, 2011

Acer chairman convinced HP survival will fight iOS

Acer chairman JT Wang in remarks Monday made an unusual welcome for HP keeping its PC business. He saw the larger PC builder being key to supporting Windows for what he was convinced would be a revival stemming from Windows 8, Digitimes heard. Microsoft had been hurting its reception by adding "unnecessary functions," but would be addressing this with its OS next year; HP would help drive Windows' return to form and help everyone, Wang said.

As Apple's success was currently founded on smartphones and tablets, areas where Microsoft was weak, any shoring up of that weakness would help the industry as a whole slow Apple down, Wang explained.

The chairman and a number of other executives at Acer have focused much of their public commentary on Apple and have repeatedly insisted that Apple's success with the iPad was due to end at any moment and that Acer's Windows PCs would regain their status with little effort. A year ago, Wang argued that people would "return to their senses" and buy more PCs before long. After that failed to pass, he claimed again that netbooks and notebooks would recover in early spring this year, which didn't come true and saw Windows PCs grow much slower.

While the company has had modest success with its Iconia Tab line, results have usually gone in the opposite direction of Wang's predictions. The company fired its CEO Gianfranco Lanci and reorganized more around mobile. Acer's heavy reliance on netbooks and low-end notebooks has made it one of the most susceptible to the iPad's effects and has seen it rapidly bleed market share in PCs. Apple, while noticeably smaller worldwide, is now a bigger computer seller in the US than Acer, whether or not iPads are included.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Apple becoming formidable?

    With these kind of comments made by Acer, it seems to me that Apple is perceived as a real threat to their business. Seeing as they can't switch to another credible OS, they are doomed to fail.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    'fight' apple?

    ...perhaps viewing product development with such military zeitgeist & 'rear view mirror' mentality is what actually prevents such companies from focussing in making better products, and better competing...?

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Why should Acer care what H-P

    is doing. Acer should work out its problems on its own just as Apple has been doing for years without anyone else to rely on. That way Acer can have more for itself if H-P is gone. I'm surprised these companies consider Apple a threat to them. These Windows PC companies have so much desktop market share it isn't funny. Apple has almost nothing in terms of market share. Wall Street isn't even betting on Apple to last because most of the fund investors think that Windows and Android will triumph forever. Scared of Apple? That's a laugh. People claim that Windows is the most powerful and dominant OS on the planet so what's the big fear about.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999


    Good Luck

    If Acer is counting on Windows 8 to save them, they're SOL; it's a crummy tablet OS and a crummy desktop OS rolled into one. Win 7 will be the new XP, and 8 will be the new Vista times 10.

  1. gprovida

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Irony - that a claimed notch player is a threat

    10% IS market and less tha 5% world market a threat versus stealing share from the other 90%. Unless iPads are seen as PC threats as well as Apple Mac core growth.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    The Windows House Of Cards ...

    ... continues to collapse.

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Apple is a threat

    The problem isn't marketshare, but profitability. Apple may only hold 5% of the desktop market, but they're making 50% of the profits in the desktop industry. That's why IBM left the desktop and HP considered it too. It doesn't matter if you sell a billion of something if there's no hope for making a profit. You can't lose money on each sale, but make it up in volume.

    The problem is that the PC industry has helped its own commodization by selling cheap and on feature tables. They lowballed each other into an unprofitable sector of the market. The Ultrabooks are proof how far most PC vendors have to go to catch up. Apple is making a pretty penny on the $1000 MacBook Air. The PC vendors claim they can't even break even on that price point and beg Intel for further assistance.

    And with the advent of the iPod, the money is now in the tablet market and not the desktop market. Yet, the first few competitors to the iPad have flopped mainly for being too expensive and requiring a two year contract. Others are finding it difficult to get below that $500 price barrier. Apple was first to market and set expectations: Tablets should be well built and have a smooth interface. Offering $200 cheap knockoffs isn't working either.

    Acer correctly understands the threat Apple is to their market. Apple obliterated the netbook market -- a place where Acer had heavily invested. The iPad not only knocked out Netbooks, but the cheaper tier of laptops. People who buy a $500 laptop weren't people who wanted a true desktop system. Instead, they wanted a device for web browsing and posting Twitter and Facebook messages. The iPad is better at that than something running Windows. Most people now buying laptops are really interested in the premium laptops and desktops, and Acer has nothing to offer there.

    The problem is that Acer blew two years waiting for the iPad to flop and did nothing. Now, they're in trouble. Their netbook lineup is dead, and their cheap laptops aren't selling either. They've specialized in commodity and never in high quality products.

    The hope is that a company like HP will produce high quality Windows tablets and phones that will take over the market. Then, Acer can play their role as the cheap knockoff king against the Windows products. Unfortunately, Acer is once again whistling in the dark.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000


    Clone market

    PC Market has evolve into a clone market mess where everyone are using the same hardware and the same software, after time they become less relevant and start to fight each other on feature price instead of fighting on product feature. Every clone maker should rethink their product and try to innovate or go out of the PC maker.

    Apple is the last company who own their software and hardware, I remember how much cooler the 8 bits computer era was, it was so much entertaining with real product competition between Apple, Commodore, Atari and Tandy.

  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Welcome back?

    Why would a company welcome back a competitor...because they need all the OEM's the market can muster to help commoditise the hardware which is where the cheap Chinese/Taiwanese do best. HP will help drive up demand which will lower the costs of the hardware which will help companies like Acer to compete with Apple which have been able to lower their prices.

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