updated 10:15 pm EST, Mon November 28, 2011
Acer VP says netbooks kept to developing world
Acer won't quit netbooks like Samsung is rumored to do, VP Scott Lin insisted late Monday. With rumors of Samsung backing out in 2012, he mentioned to Digitimes that developing countries, such as China, India, and Indonesia, were still focused more on netbooks than tablets. IT often tended to buy models in bulk in the area, the executive said.
The company could particularly take advantage of China, Lin said, since it was both second-largest in the area and could take advantage of Dell's backing away from netbooks to fill a void.
Lin's statements, while hopeful for netbooks, are also an acknowledgment that Acer has had to shift more of its attention to specialized markets than try to keep to the mainstream, where Acer has been bruised by the iPad. Acer is still the world's largest netbook maker at 1.7 million systems and 22 percent share as of the summer, and as a consequence has been punished the most for its dependence on the cheap notebooks.
Like the company's chairman JT Wang, though, Lin has been one of the most vocal deniers of the iPad's effect and has insisted multiple times that Apple's impact would go away in a subsequent quarter. He recently claimed that ultrabooks would cure Acer's ills, but sales so far have had no impact on either the iPad or the MacBook Air.
ASUS and Samsung have been faster to step back from netbooks in favor of tablets. Eee PCs made up 1.2 million or 16 percent of netbooks in the summer, while Samsung moved 840,000 PCs, or just over 10 percent.