updated 09:00 am EST, Wed November 30, 2011
Acer sees light at end of bleak 2011
Acer saw rare optimism for performance this year after company President Jim Wong said the company would return to profit for the fall. The company's successive losses for the past six months were clearing up now that it had finished selling off the "abnormalities" of unsold notebooks. The company is still expected to be in the red for 2011.
Wong reiterated expectations that Acer would ship 250,000 to 350,000 units of the Aspire S3 ultrabook in the fall. The thin-and-light systems wouldn't be affected by ongoing hard drive shortages, he said, because of the choices of storage. Although Acer uses rotating storage in tandem with a solid-state drive, its traditional disks are made in China, not flood-stricken Thailand.
Such performance is still expected to trail that of Apple's MacBook Air. In part as it's now Apple's cheapest system, but also because of its popularity, the Air is expected to be a large part of the up to 5.3 million Macs that may ship in the fall.
The company has been bleeding market share for all of 2011 so far. Having to clear overstock compounded its shipments, but it's not expected to significantly recover losses in share to HP, Lenovo, and Apple in the US.
Much of Acer's decline has been credited to its over-dependence on netbooks and an insistence that the iPad will go away at any moment rather than trying to cope with its effect more directly. Although Acer has tablets, the Iconia Tab line still moves just a small fraction of what the iPad does and hasn't compared as well in ergonomics or performance.