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Acer hopes to move 300K ultrabooks, still expects sales drop

updated 08:35 am EST, Fri November 11, 2011

Acer quashes talk of dramatic ultrabook cuts

Acer late Thursday partly rejected talk that it had to cut back ultrabook shipments. The PC builder claimed that the Aspire S3 ultrabook was selling well and would hit its rough sales target of between 250,000 to 300,000 units in the fall. Sales were going well to date, it said.

Earlier rumors had it shipping just 150,000 to 180,000 units after selling considerably less than expected in its first wave. The new figures are still estimates and will depend on sustained interest.

The Taiwan firm still expects its revenue to go down in the fall and will likely continue a string of losses. It expected revenue to drop five to ten percent versus the summer owed to the hard drive shortage sparked by Thai floods.

Acer has been hoping to use ultrabooks as crutches for its ailing PC business, since it sees them as a possible savior from the iPad. For the company, 2011 has been its worst year to date, as Apple's success in tablets has wiped out Acer's share gains and may soon make it irrelevant in the US. Acer was one of the most eager to focus on netbooks and cheap notebooks and, as a consequence, was punished when buyers decided they would rather opt for cheaper iPads.

Acer's Aspire S3 shipments aren't expected to come close to Apple's for the MacBook Air. Apple is already believed to be selling at least several hundred thousand Airs or more and, now that the Air is its entry-level notebook, will be pushing the ultrabook category creator to those who would otherwise have bought the plastic MacBook. [via Digitimes]

By Electronista Staff


  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Cheaper iPads?

    iPads are $500 and up. Acer Netbooks start at $250 and go up to $300. In fact, one of the things that the Apple panboys whined about is the fact: "Why would someone be stupid enough to buy some overpriced thing from Apple when they can get a REAL COMPUTER for 1/2 the price? I can run Windows on my Acer Netbook! Can you run Windows on your iPad?"

    No, Acer's issue is that they are a bottom feeder: Produce cheaply made stuff and sell it at bargain basement prices. The iPad killed that model. The iPad is well built and is just a bit more than a Netbook. It's also easier to use. Sure, you can't run Microsoft Office on it, and you can't write programs on it. But, that's not what 90% of the people do on their personal computers anyway.

    Now, Acer is stuck. Apple has created a whole system of building high caliber products. Apple can build machines like the MacBook Air where they can earn 30% margins while Acer has problems even making a penny at the same price. The iPad is now priced at a point where people who use to buy netbooks and even cheaper notebooks now go for an iPad.

    Meanwhile, on the high end, PC companies are finding it almost impossible to compete with Apple on price and build quality. Apple has developed a whole new manufacturing and distribution network that other PC vendors can't match. While Apple makes 30% margins on their sub-$1000 "Ultrabook" Other PC makers are struggling to match the price points.

    Acer's Aspire S3, as the Sacramento Bee said the other day "Is no MacBook Air". It's a few hundred dollars less, but at this price point, people are willing to spend the money on a machine that's almost twice as fast, and is better built.

    Acer, if they want to survive, needs to change their model. They have to build high quality systems and compete on something other than price.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Dec 2007


    That's rich

    "The iPad is well built and is just a bit more than a Netbook."

    LOL! I needed a good laugh for the day. Built well? Yes. More than a netbook? Uhh, no. Fail.

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