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Acer to focus on PC hardware but pins finance woes on Ultrabooks

by Mark Tyson on 13 January 2014, 16:00

Tags: Acer (TPE:2353), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab7jv

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Taiwan based Acer's new CEO Jason Chen has announced plans to turn the firm around and pull away from three years of losses by building on the firm's existing hardware background.

According to recently recorded figures, Acer’s full-year 2013 sales fell 16 per cent to NT$ 360.2 billion, 43 per cent lower than the firm's peak revenue in 2010. The company saw a NT$13.12 billion after-tax loss in Q3 2013 which led to Chen’s hiring and the return of Acer co-founder Stan Shih as chairman. The figures are by far the largest decrease across all major PC vendors.


Chen opined in his first press conference as CEO today in Taiwan, that the company’s biggest mistake had been committing too many resources too quickly into the Ultrabook and touch panel markets without realising how extensively tablet computers such as the iPad would unsettle the industry.

"We wanted to stimulate demand using new technology and we took the initiative more aggressively than anybody else, to the point where we got hurt," says Chen, according to Reuters. "Hopefully we won't repeat the same mistake we made before."

Chen added, "What we need to do now is to dig ourselves out of the hole. There are no magic bullets. We need to focus on the fundamentals." The company announced last month a change in strategy towards focusing on hardware, software and services. According to FocusTaiwan, the firm has assembled a research group of over 1,300 engineers and also applied for 130 technology patents in Taiwan during Q3 2013. Based on these 'fundamentals', Chen remains positive about Acer's future. We are also told that a new business model will debut on 1st April (seriously) coinciding with the release of new notebooks offering Acer's impending Build Your Own Cloud service.

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Huh, everyone I know who's been buying a laptop has been buying an Ultrabook tm.

Can't see how jumping on that bangwagon was a mistake. Surely it's the fact their prices where high at the lowend, and their build quality didn't feel half as nice as Samsung at the high end.
Call the Whaaaaambulance. Acer made cheap and nasty ultrabooks rather than high-end models, and the market for cheap and nasty laptops has been cannibalised by tablets. Taking your low-end notebooks, giving them a small battery and flimsier case, and calling it an ‘ultrabook’ isn't going to fool people into paying an extra markup for them.
What they need to do is the same as what a lot of manufacturers need to do… STOP PUTTING 1366 x 768 PANELS IN LAPTOPS. Christ even 1600 x 900 @15.6" is bearable but i cannot stand this ‘HD Ready’ crap. We have tablets with resolutions in excess of of 1080P for under £400 and laptops for £500+ are still being churned out with this uncomfortable and ugly resolution. The silver bullet is a good quality, high resolution tablet with just enough processing power and RAM all at a price that is just low enough to catch peoples eyes who would otherwise buy an iPad. The Dell Venue 11 is a decent example of what i would have thought makes sense.
If the surface pro 2 had a cheaper i3 or even one of the quad Atoms as a cheaper option, that would do the trick… but then they would be admitting there is no place for the RT… so thats not going to happen.
Actually I'm a bit the other way round. I Don't like a lot of this race to 1080p in tiny screen game. Often those screens have awful colour fidelity. The iPad 3 and MBP both suffered a lot. Hell my 13" Z series from years back suffers a lot for being just 1080p. I'd like nice resolutions, not useless by 768, but not insane lets sell the megapixels, and make the colours suffer.
There is definitely a sweet spot to balance perceptual image quality and compatibility with programs with old Windows based GUI. It depends on the screen size of course but for a laptop I think 1600x900 for 11-13“ and 1920x1080 for 14-15” is a good compromise. Also unless you're going to fold into a tablet a la Vaio Flip or Yoga, hence arguably a reason for touch screen, please use a nice matte panel and forget about touch. The older Series 9 samsungs had it nailed, now they've got for a touchscreen glossy effort - I give up :(