by Anton Shilov
08/09/2013 | 03:48 PM
After a steep – 33% – decline in unit shipments in the second calendar quarter of the year, Acer Group now wants to shrink its Microsoft Windows-based offerings and expand product lines that utilize operating systems from Google, such as Android or Chrome. The company seems to be serious about the plan as it wants to grow its “non-Windows” business as quick as possible.
"We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible. Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets. I also see a new market there for Chromebooks," said Jim Wang, the president of Acer Group, during a conference call with investors and financial analysts, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Acer Group, the world’s fourth largest PC supplier, continued to see substantial declines in shipments across regions as the company was strongly impacted by weak consumer demand in the second quarter of the year, according to IDC. Although Acer has been aggressive in expanding more premium offerings to offset falling netbook sales, Acer has been hampered by slow demand for pricier ultrabooks. Sales of the company’s personal computers and tablets declined whopping 32.6% to 6.226 million PC in Q2 2013 from 9.241 million units in Q2 2012.
Mr. Wang said Android devices, such as smartphones, tablets and Chrome-based notebooks, will likely contribute 10% to 12% of Acer's revenue by the end of 2013, and may grow up to 30% in 2014. The rest of revenue, or between 70% and 90% will come from products running Microsoft Windows operating system.
"The Windows camp has to do something to re-establish or reinforce confidence among PC users. People are reluctant (to buy) and are holding (off) their purchasing decisions," said J.T. Wang, the chairman of Acer.
Even though Acer clearly blames Microsoft Windows 8 and RT in the decline of its sales, there are a number of companies, such as Lenovo Group, Dell or Hewlett-Packard, which did not suffer such strong shipments declines this year as Acer did. Perhaps, the company needs to finally reshape its Windows-based product lines, simplify them and create the right combination of features and technologies for every market segment it serves.
In general, Acer remains conservative, perhaps, even negative, about the future of the PC market.
"For the PC industry, I have not seen light at the end of the tunnel. First, we have to sustain our market share and protect our bottom line and by doing tablets and smartphones right, we can be prepared for the day after tomorrow," said Jim Wang.