In a continuation of the tumult that has characterized the company's management structure, Acer's (ASIYF) head of commercial business global operations, CTO, and GM of China's smartphone ops resigned earlier this month to pursue "other career plans."
The company does not intend to fill the latter 2 vacancies.
In the latest shake-up at the ailing PC maker, Acer (ASIYF) names ex-TSMC Worldwide Sales and Marketing executive Jason Chen President and CEO effective Jan. 1. Founder Stan Shih will continue to serve as Chairman.
Phablets overtook both tablets and portable PCs in the Asian market during Q2, according to IDC. 25.2M smartphones with 5"-7" screens were shipped during the quarter, compared to 12.6M tablets and 12.7M portable PCs. The rise in popularity of the phablet is breath-taking: shipments grew 100% Q/Q and 620% Y/Y.
Phablet pioneer Samsung (SSNLF.PK) has lost its gargantuan grasp of the market. The Galaxy Note model held 90% of the market in Q4 2011. But the Note series accounted for less than 50% in Q2, as "low-cost local players ... have swooped in to offer big screens."
Acer (ASIYF.PK) entered the phablet market in June with the Liquid S1, which sports a 5.7" display, an Android OS, and a Mediatek quad-core 1.5 GHz processor. Nokia (NOK) plans to launch its own 6" phablet in Sept.
Although Asia is the front-runner in phablet adoption, Barclays sees global shipments climbing from 143M this year to 228M by 2015.
R.I.P. the netbook. Acer (ASIYF.PK) and Asus, the last two major PC OEMs committed to building the cheap, no-frills notebooks, have said they'll stop making them in 2013. The evisceration of the netbook market at the hands of tablets has been a blow to both OEMs and to Intel's (INTC) Atom CPU business, which now has to depend on the mobile device and TV markets to make up lost volumes. One silver lining: notebook ASPs are rising as the low-end falls apart and consumers start buying touchscreen models.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) plans to launch a $99 tablet which will undercut prices on Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Color in global markets. Analysts note the move will help the company gain its footing in the hot Chinese market, but will also cut into Acer's margins. (previous: Acer Iconia B1)
The Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 could soon get undercut by Acer's Iconia B1, a 7" Android tablet just approved by the FCC and, reportedly set to sell for a mere $99. With 8GB of storage and a 1024x600 display, the B1 won't win any spec sheet crowns, but it could be an adequate option for many low-end/emerging markets buyers, or those looking to get the family a second or third tablet. It arrives at a time when Android (GOOG) is picking up tablet share thanks to its pricing edge. ($99 Nexus tablet)
Acer (ASIYF.PK) and Alibaba (ALBCF.PK) just cancelled a smartphone launch featuring the latter's Aliyun OS, and Alibaba is blaming Google (GOOG). Alibaba, whose OS is Linux-based but can run Android apps, claims Google threatened to "terminate Android cooperation" with Acer if it went ahead with the launch. Though Android is technically open-source, Google wields tight control over what its partners can do with the OS. Baidu and Huawei are two other Chinese firms with mobile OS ambitions.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) cancels a press conference to launch a new smartphone after hearing concerns from Google on the operating system to be used. According to a source at Acer, Google warned that if Alibaba's Aliyun OS was used by the new product it would pull its cooperation for Android-based products.
After looking at Dell (DELL) and H-P's (HPQ) awful July quarter PC sales data (I, II), IDC now predicts PC shipments will be up only 0.9% in 2012. Even that forecast could prove optimistic, given the decline seen in Q2. U.S. shipments are expected to fall 3.7%, after having already fallen in 2011. IDC continues to expect double-digit notebook shipment growth in later years due to emerging markets demand, but the tablet market's rapid growth makes that far from a sure thing.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) fell 2.6% in Taipei after reporting Q2 revenue of NT$111B ($3.7B) and net income of NT$56M ($1.9M), below consensus forecasts. The world's #4 PC maker said demand from China, thus far a bastion of strength, is now softening, and that it now expects global 2012 shipment growth of just 0-5%. Nonetheless, beaten-down rivals Dell (DELL +2.8%) and H-P (HPQ +2.9%) rallied ahead of their earnings reports, respectively due tomorrow and Wednesday.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) CEO J.T. Wang is warning Microsoft (MSFT) to "think twice" about launching Surface, predicting the tablets will "create a huge negative impact for the [PC] ecosystem." Microsoft has already warned about a potential OEM backlash in its 10-K, and its concerns are likely a reason why Surface will initially be sold only in Microsoft's online and retail stores. Fears of channel conflict might also affect Microsoft's pricing.
As if Gartner and IDC's data wasn't enough, Acer (ASIYF.PK) is providing more reason to be worried about PC demand. The Taiwanese OEM is slashing its 2012 PC shipment growth forecast to 5% from 10%, citing macro concerns and a more cautious stance on Windows 8's (MSFT) adoption. An Acer spokesman adds the iPad's popularity has made distributors more cautious about building up Windows 8 hardware inventory. There are already concerns PC demand will weaken ahead of the OS' launch.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) plans to go into attack mode this year with a strategy to compete across product segments with user experience and demand as its selling points. A major focus for the Taiwanese firm will be the mid-range price market ($299-$499) for tablet PCs, according to Acer chairman JT Wang.
Acer (ASIYF.PK) plans to cut its product line by two thirds in 2012 in a drastic move to cut excessive costs that the bleeding the Taiwanese firm dry. CEO J.T. Wang sees the firm narrowing its expansive product line to focus heavily on ultrabooks and MacBook Air clones.
Taiwanese PC maker Acer (ASIYF.PK) forecasts it will break even in Q4 despite suffering a shortage of hard disc supply due to flooding in Thailand and seeing demand tail off. The largest impact from the flood-related production slowdown in drives will be felt from December to February, prompting the firm to call for increasing prices on some notebook models by 2%-3% during the period.