updated 12:05 am EST, Thu December 15, 2011
Acer chair insists Wintel will return to glory
Frequently outspoken Acer chairman JT Wang in statements Wednesday once again insisted that Apple would go away in the near future. Although he saw Apple as a key component, he predicted with Digitimes that Apple as a primary source of growth would weaken in the next two years and that Wintel, the combination of Windows and Intel, would once again be growing the fastest. He anticipated ultrabooks dropping to $699 in 2012 and assumed there would be "surging growth" in Windows PCs at that stage.
Despite using Android, Wang only thought Google would have "flat" performance in the industry in the future.
The comments continue a pattern from Acer executives, most of all Wang, of insisting that the pre-iPad, Windows-heavy mobile computing market favorable to Acer would return. He predicted last fall that people would "return to their senses" and stop using the iPad at any moment. Early this year, he was convinced the iPad would stop shrinking netbook share by March, only to watch the damage continue through the rest of 2011.
An assumption that lower ultrabook prices would come soon may also be dangerous. Intel itself has said it doesn't expect $699 ultrabooks soon and may leave Acer having to compete on terms that are favorable to the MacBook Air.
Windows 8, which many see as key to sparking new growth, also isn't likely to show until the second half of the year.
Part of the executive's hope came from simplifying product lines. Acer would cut the size of its computer line in 2012 to a third of what it is now, Wang said, even as shipment volume would go up 10 percent. The approach would ironically take a cue from Apple, which focuses on having a small but clearly defined and profitable lineup.