updated 09:20 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Acer recovers after tackling quality, tablets
Acer showed signs of returning to health on Tuesday through both monthly results and remarks from company president Jim Wong. Its February revenue was up 38 percent from the month before, to the equivalent of nearly $1.3 billion. Wong framed it to Digitimes and others as part of a larger recovery, where Acer would return to third place in notebooks sometime in 2012.
Insiders had purported that Acer had taken back some of its lost share. It had also supposedly managed to keep inventory low enough that it could have more leeway on pricing and promotional deals. Acer's key contractor, Compal, saw its notebook shipments up 38 percent in February and its raw sales up 30 percent the same month.
The recovery would come after a near-complete change in attitude towards competition in the past year. At the start of 2011, Acer was still focused on low prices for notebooks and netbooks and had no real tablet options. In the year since, it has swung towards ultrabooks and has focused more on quality than on sheer numbers.
Acer also now considers the tablet a core part of its mobile strategy and takes both its own performance in the category, as well as that of competitors, seriously. Executives repeatedly dismissed the iPad, even up until 2011, in the hope that it would simply disappear and that the market would 'naturally' return to a Windows PC-centric focus. The reluctance to adapt cost Acer its second-place spot in PCs, dropping it to fourth worldwide and taking it out of any practical competition in the US.