Ultrabooks to help Acer turn the corner in 2012

By on December 8, 2011, 2:30 PM

Acer CEO J.T. Wang believes that ultrabooks will be the one product that returns the company to profitability. In an interview with Dow Jones Newswire, the chief said that customers will want a lighter and thinner notebook with longer battery life and that selling more ultrabooks will also help improve profit margins since ultrabooks command higher prices.

Acer surpassed Dell in 2009 in terms of PC shipments and things were looking bright for the company but the last several quarters haven’t been favorable. According to CNET, Acer shipped 9.7 million PCs worldwide last quarter, representing 10.6 percent of the market but putting them fourth behind HP, Dell and Lenovo. Acer’s shipments dropped 23.2 percent compared to the same time period last year.

Shipment declines have resulted in a sales drop of 23.34 percent over the last year – certainly not favorable for Acer. It remains to be seen if ultrabooks will be the turning point for the company but thus far, the thin notebooks haven’t delivered. The Acer Aspire S3 and Asus Zenbook UX31, two early ultrabook contenders, haven’t exactly broken sales records. CNET editor Scott Stein believes the reason is because ultrabooks are too similar to Apple’s MacBook Air.

"Any of these laptops are, first and foremost, MacBook Air-alikes," Stein said in October. "Yet, somehow, Apple's MacBook Air is a nothing-alike: it stands alone. It's earned that distinction, because it was the first kid on the block: the first Air debuted in January 2008. It's also the most likely laptop to be recognized out of a lineup by 10 random people on the street, by a long shot."

Acer expects to ship between 250,000 and 300,000 ultrabooks this quarter. Wang believes that the success of ultrabooks hangs on the price point: around $699.

User Comments: 5

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Scshadow said:

I don't even consider an acer for a laptop. I hate the keyboard style with the gaps between keys and the tall edge of the keys. Looks ugly, feels ugly to me. Is that weird? So ultimately acer can make whatever laptop or ultrabook they want but I'm not really interested unless they change the keyboard.

truroxy said:

I had an acer before. Thing fell apart so quickly. Its 3 now. But the keyboard was awful. Had 9 keys missing after 6 months. 4 broken usb ports. Has an overheating problem now. Mom had an acer. Motherboard was fried in 4 months. Had to get a replacement. Never buyying another acer.

ikesmasher said:

Ive had an acer. it lasted about 6 or 7 years.

i dont know, but i for one dont smash my laptops with a hammer.

and i love the keyboard.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I know people who have had acer's and all of them have sworn to never buy another, they all had over heating issues and all of them come out the box with soo much crapware they start off particualrly slow, and just get worse over time. Seriously Acer, stop putting soo much crapware on your laptops! your reputation with me at least will go up a fraction and I may even unblock your company name from my sh*t list of companies to never bother with

Eddo22 said:

Just paid $450 Canadian for an Acer Aspire AS5560-SB401 with an AMD A8-3500. Very happy with the purchase. Just clean the crap software out and your ready to go.

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