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Acer: our $799 ultrabook isn't making a profit

updated 09:50 pm EST, Tue March 6, 2012

Acer reveals Windows ultrabook costs not working

Acer's Christoph Pohlmann in remarks Tuesday at CeBIT revealed that the company was selling ultrabooks at extremely thin margins. The base version of the Aspire S3 was being sold at a stricty break-even price at $799, he mentioned to The Verge. It was only viable at all as higher-end models had enough of a premium to make a small profit.

The systems were being sold at cost to drum up support for Acer's ultrabooks. He was doubtful of predictions made in the past by company global president Jianren Weng and repeated at CeBIT, where Weng envisioned $499 ultrabooks by 2013. It was difficult to even see a 499-euro ($655) ultrabook after costs came down, let alone $499, Pohlmann said.

His observations have suggested that whatever market share was being built for Windows-based ultrabooks was being done through unsustainable prices, at least at Acer. Although seldom directly acknowledged, PC builders have complained at not getting special discounts and having to compete with the ultrabook category's inventor, Apple, on equal terms. The need for an ultrabook to use more advanced materials, low-voltage processors, and often solid-state drives has prevented many of these companies from resorting to the cheaper and slower parts they're used to with full notebooks, either forcing them to price like Apple does or to shave their profit margins.

Intel has hoped for 40 percent of notebooks becoming ultrabooks within or by 2013. To date, however, sales have mostly fared poorly relative to the MacBook Air.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    N O D U H

    Please find cheaper labor somewhere on Mars.

  1. global.philosopher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Well they have two choices....

    1. Go back to Intel, whinge some more that they cannot compete on fair grounds and hope Intel give them a concession for some unknown reason

    2. Price their products at a realistic price and stop selling their products at break-even or at a loss and if you can't do that then exit the Ultrabook/Airbook market.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008



    People don't pay Apple prices for non-Apple hardware, period.

  1. cashxx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009


    Intels fault

    The biggest price is most likely the processor.....Intel charges too much.

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    If Intel lowers their price

    Apple will lower theirs. PC manufacturers are screwed either way.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999



    Covered with moss.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Intel's worst nightmare

    Right now, Apple sells MacBook Airs at prices too low for the Wintel PC makers to match (while maintaining Apple's margins.)

    Just imagine the pain over at Intel when Apple switches to 64-bit quad-core ARM chips for MacBook Airs. They'll be even cheaper, with better battery life, and won't need a cooling fan. It is inevitable, and it will be a crushing blow.

  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001


    Teacher, please make my exams easier easier

    because I can't compete with the smartest kid in the class... sounds like someone's really feeling the pain!

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Going Out On A Limb Here ...

    "Acer: our $799 ultrabook isn't making a profit"

    ... but shouldn't they have thought about these things BEFORE they started making them?

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