Acer Sees Opening As Dell's Trouble's Deepen

Includes: DELL, GTW
by: Mark McQueen

I saw that Acer brought US$710 million to the auction yesterday to bring Gateway into its barn. This puts Acer at #3 in market share - behind Dell and HP, but ahead of Levovo.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that Dell wasn’t able to make and deliver a simple desktop computer in less than 35 days (see post “Is it just me, or is Dell dying a slow death?“, Aug 7-07), despite initially promising a one week arrival.

One of my colleagues recently came across a poll that showed Dell’s customer satisfaction scores are materially dropping this year. And then there’s fellow Seeking Alpha blogger Financial Skeptic, who claims (see “Dell - ’stick a fork in it’“, Aug 22-07) that Dell can’t even get the supply chain to deliver the colour schemes they’ve been marketing to consumers. Our issues were also supply chain related. Hmmm.

It strikes me that Acer is seeing what we consumers see, and pouncing. Dell is ripe. Although Gateway never made it very far beyond identifiable cartons, and their retail storefront strategy was a bust (unlike Apple’s), Acer is going to try to squeeze whatever it can out of the brand. Loyal 15 year customers like me don’t need to buy a Dell, we just do it ’cause it works. But if the ordering process repeated winds up as a let down, we are all free agents for the Acers of the world.

You have to applaud the sure-footedness of firms such as Acer and Bank of America (re the brilliant Countrywide investment). See an opening, and move quickly.

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