Taiwan's Acer Group established a position among the leaders in the global PC industry through two transformative acquisitions: Gateway Computers of the US in 2007 and Europe's Packard Bell a year later. It still uses the Packard Bell brand in Europe but sub-licensed Gateway to Chinese manufacturer Bmorn in 2020. Acer's own range of mostly low-cost computers is partnered by premium brands Predator (gaming machines) and ConceptD (aimed mainly at the graphic design industry). It is also attempting to carve out a position for the main Acer brand in the high-end sector with a few prestige models, including laptops and accessories designed by Porsche Design. As a result, the group now ranks among the top five or six manufacturers in the global PC market, virtually neck-and-neck with marginally smaller countrymate Asus. Volumes for 2019 were around 17.1m units, equivalent to 6.4% global share. The company also dabbles in a few other sectors such as air purifiers (AcerPure) and operates the eSports platform Planet9. Acer concentrates mainly on the lower end of the market, with no-frills devices for home users. However, like its Western competitors, it was caught off-guard by the sudden popularity of tablet devices, losing both market share and revenues in 2012 and 2013. It has recovered some ground with its own range of increasingly competitive tablet devices and its first smartphones, but these still lag far behind leaders Apple and Samsung. It has introduced a range of supporting services, such as its own cloud storage facility. The business was founded in 1976 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Stan Shih as technology consultancy Multitech. Initially it developed low-cost 8-bit computers for the local market, then launched its first IBM-compatible PCs in the early 1980s, adopting the Acer name in 1987. Shih officially retired in 2004 though he remains a director and shareholder. He was called back to lead the group temporarily when its management team was ousted in 2013 following two years of steep losses. Revenues have fallen dramatically since then, but the business has returned to profit. Jason Chen is now chairman & CEO. Revenues for 2019 were approx $7.6bn with net income of approx $83m. Notebooks account for around 60% of sales.
Capsule checked 23rd December 2020
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Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jan 2016: The global PC market suffered another decline in 2015 according to new research from technology monitor IDC, though the US performed less badly than the wider market. IDC estimated a 10.4% global decline for the year to 276k devices; the US market fell by just 2.6%. It is the first time since 2008 that global shipments came in under 300m units, and the largest-ever year on year decline ever recorded by IDC. In 4Q alone shipments were down by almost 11% globally and over 4% in the US. However, IDC's researchers voiced hopes that the market might begin to pick up in the second half of 2016. Lenovo held onto its global lead ahead of HP and Dell, reaching a record share of 21.4% in the final quarter, but Apple leapfrogged Acer to take 4th place. It was the only one of the top five to score a year-on-year increase, though Lenovo enjoyed a double-digit improvement in US shipments.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Oct 2015: The timing of Dell's proposed acquisition of storage and services company EMC is prescient. The global PC market shrank significantly in 3Q according to figures from market watcher IDC. Total shipments slumped almost 11%, with all five of the global leaders suffering declines ranging from 2.9% (for Dell) to almost 26% for Acer. Leaders Lenovo and HP were down 4.9% and 5.5% respectively, while 4th placed Apple also suffered a 3.4% fall. "Still, there is some hope in the fourth quarter," commented IDC's research director for devices & displays. "New designs running Windows 10 and powered by Intel's new Skylake processors are coming to market and may represent the most compelling reason we've had in years for consumers to upgrade their PCs. Whether this compulsion translates into actual sales remains to be seen."
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Feb 2014: Taiwanese computer maker Acer appointed Saatchi & Saatchi's Singapore office to handle global creative, which the company has managed inhouse since moving it away from Mother.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Jan 2014: Lenovo of China seized the crown to become the world's biggest PC manufacturer after a dismal year in which it was the only one of the major suppliers to register an increase in unit sales. Researcher IDC estimated a near-3% increase to 53.8m units, topping HP, whose 10% slump resulted in a total of 52.2m. Dell did somewhat better, with volumes slipping by just 2%. Asian low-cost rivals Asus and Acer were the biggest victims of the global slump, falling almost 29% and 21% respectively. Total industry volumes fell by a record 10%. HP held the top spot in the US, however, despite a 9% local decline. Dell was flat at #2 and even Apple suffered a 3% slide in 3rd place, while Lenovo jumped almost 18%. For the final quarter alone, Lenovo overtook Apple for the #3 position.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Nov 2013: Taiwanese computer maker Acer scrapped plans announced only two weeks ago for company president Jim Wong to succeed departing CEO JT Wang. Instead both men will leave the group, which is reeling from the collapse of the global PC market, and founder Stan Shih will return to the group as executive chairman until a permanent replacement can be found. The company posted a record lost of almost $450m in 3Q because of writedowns on unsold computers and devaluations of its Gateway and Packard Bell acquisitions.
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