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Acer and former CEO trade barbs over Apple's iPad threat

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Acer and recently ousted ex-CEO Gianfranco Lanci exchanged heated words this week over who was to blame for a slump in unit sales after Apple's iPad began cannibalizing the low-end PC market.

Lanci resigned as CEO at the end of March, with several reports suggesting at the time that the adverse impact from Apple's iPhone and iPad successes was a "key reason" for his departure. According to IDC, Acer's U.S. PC shipments dropped by a 42.1 percent in the March quarter, opening an opportunity for Apple to overtake it with its 9.6 percent year over year growth in Mac sales.

In an interview with the Mobilized blog on Monday, Lanci blamed Acer for being too slow to react to the threat from the iPad.

"At that time, I already saw if we want to become a major player in this new world, we needed to do certain investments, mainly on software and on smartphones and tablets, on touch, Lanci said. He had pressed the company to expand from 300 or 400 engineers to 1,000 engineers, focusing more on software and hardware integration.

The number of engineers Lanci required could not be found in Taiwan, so he suggested looking elsewhere: "China or India or even the U.S. or Europe, wherever you can find software resources, software know-how." However, Lanci said Acer was resistant to the change because it might result in a "de-Taiwanization" of the company.

I said, Look, it is not de-Taiwanization, he said. It is just globalization. If we want to be in the top three (PC makers) in the next three to five years, we need to be a global company and we need to leverage resources wherever they are.

Lanci admitted that the company was late in achieving its smartphone and tablet vision, but attributed the delay to a lack of resources, rather than his own shortcomings. "People after a few years will decide who was wrong, he said, noting that the company had grown from a $10 billion company to a $20 billion one during his eight-year tenure.

Lanci also said Acer needed to do more to prepare for the rise of the "tablet thin and light, like the current iPad 2," the report noted. According to Lanci, Apple is clearly winning and Samsung and HP may be doing the right things, but the bulk of the PC industry faces a similar position as Acer.

For its part, Acer fired back at Lanci's comments on Wednesday, in a statement asserting that "de-Taiwanization" had never been the issue, DigiTimes reports. The company instead raised the issue whether Lanci had been "able to sustain healthily and long-term development for the company."

The Taiwanese PC maker pointed to smartphone failures under Lanci and the resulting inventory pile-up and accounts receivables problems, according to the report.

"Lanci had also failed to come out with explanations earlier when the company was unable to deliver results that matched up with its targets in two consecutive quarters from October 2010 to March 2011," Acer noted.

Acer took issue with Lanci's claim that the company's capabilities weren't up to the task of building a tablet, highlighting instead the fact that its Android 3.0 tablet PCs trailed behind only Apple and Motorola when they began shipping.

Last year, Acer chairman JT Wang predicted that the market share of the iPad would drop from 100 percent to between 20 percent and 30 percent as competitors entered the market. However, after sales and profits slowed at the end of 2010, founder Stan Shih announced that the company would overhaul operations to more closely emulate Apple's strategy.

Acer had previously pursued a volume strategy, "striving to become the world`s largest PC vendor, in the belief that the goal can help it achieve economy of scale and garner higher margin," according to one report. However, the race to the bottom with the rise of the netbook resulted in vanishing profit margins, which disappeared even further as Apple's iPad began to eat into netbook sales.

The PC industry "should not single-mindedly pursue volume growth, and should extend its operation to the field of service, just like what Apple has done," Shih said.
post #2 of 32
If Lanci is trying to make himself look better by blaming other people for Acer's shortcomings, he is not succeeding.
post #3 of 32
Clueless as ever.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Clueless as ever.

Bottom line is that no one can compete with Apple products.

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Bottom line is that no one can compete with Apple products.

Yep. Apple often charges more for its products than its competitors, but you get what you pay for. If Acer or Dell were to start charging the same as Apple did, even if they made their computers of comparable quality, people would start looking towards Macs more than they do already, because they would still fall short where the OS is concerned. PCs are for people with a VERY tight budget. Most people can afford a base model macbook air at the very least though...
post #6 of 32
Quote:
The PC industry "should not single-mindedly pursue volume growth, and should extend its operation to the field of service, just like what Apple has done," Shih said.

+1
Apple has been doing things right with their strategy, I'm surprised more companies aren't emulating it and while the risk (of change) remains high, the current models aren't proving too successful.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

+1
Apple has been doing things right with their strategy, I'm surprised more companies aren't emulating it . . . .

They can emulate till the cows come home but Apple will always be steps ahead while the emulators spend themselves into the ground.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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post #8 of 32
Acer doesn't know jack! So they want to go from a bottom feeder (ie cheapest PC, lowest cost, no brand value, market share is everything) and emulate Apple's model? Those are hugely different skillsets and the entire company would need to be overhauled, not to mention the years it would take to get that culture implemented. Acer thinks they can just flip a switch and do it. What a bunch of morons! Like they think they could actually duplicate Apple's secret sauce for success. Stick to what you know best Acer, and that is to make cheap, low cost products.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's iPad began cannibalizing the low-end PC market.

@AppleInsider: The definition of cannibalizing is to eat one's own kind. Predation is the word you're looking for.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumpmaster View Post

...Stick to what you know best Acer, and that is to make cheap, low cost products.

That is what Acer's been doing. Now, here comes Apple's iPad with a low(er) price with better quality overall, both in terms of hardware and software, and it finds itself unable to compete.

When people can buy a Mercedes for the price of a Kia, it becomes a no-brainer with who will win.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

That is what Acer's been doing. Now, here comes Apple's iPad with a low(er) price with better quality overall, both in terms of hardware and software, and it finds itself unable to compete.

When people can buy a Mercedes for the price of a Kia, it becomes a no-brainer with who will win.

+1 hard to argue with this truth.

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"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by res1233 View Post

Yep. Apple often charges more for its products than its competitors, but you get what you pay for. If Acer or Dell were to start charging the same as Apple did, even if they made their computers of comparable quality, people would start looking towards Macs more than they do already, because they would still fall short where the OS is concerned. PCs are for people with a VERY tight budget. Most people can afford a base model macbook air at the very least though...

Sorry but Mac's are PC's (Personal Computer) there just a million times better.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post

@AppleInsider: The definition of cannibalizing is to eat one's own kind. Predation is the word you're looking for.

Good point.

Pretty boring squabbling this story, and from people unremarkable enough to not care about. Hadn't the Acer guy some 9 months or so ago, come up and said we wont be competing in tablets so far, cause we cant undercut apple's prices? I liked him for being upfront and doing the only thing he could, not compete.

If the bozos of the company dont understand that as tech gets cheaper and better you won't,you can't consistently undercut it with second rate yet cheaper models, which has always been the acer way, and of course it's not the CEO to blame for falling profits.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The PC industry "should not single-mindedly pursue volume growth, and should extend its operation to the field of service, just like what Apple has done," Shih said.

This is just a steaming pile of a quote .... from the Acer Founder. So now they wanna be like Apple? Get serious. Like somebody pointed out it's a different set of skills and the hardest skill to change is going to be the Vision from the top. That's what drives Apple's success, and what drives other companies into the ground.

For what it does Acer it's a decent company, but to do what Apple is doing? No way. They'll get new executive management, take a luxurious retreat somewhere to come up with a new "Vision", come back with some gleaming plan filled with industry/MBA buzz words, that will be sabotaged across the board by daily operational concerns, entrenched departments & general corporate culture. Seen it all before. Acer ain't gonna change a dang thing.
post #15 of 32
The likes of Acer and Asus and what not, have no real marketing strategy. They are just leaches basing their whole existence on smaller margins and volume sales of cheap knockoffs. Problem is, they don't control their own destiny, the primary players do. If HP stagnates, they do too.

Nobody in the world says yeah! I'm going to buy an acer today... It's more like, I got this pc for $399, not a bad deal.

The well ran dry with tablets since they could have only copied successful HP or motorola models, and those just don't exist. Both their board and the ousted CEO are big losers for not having any original ideas.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post

@AppleInsider: The definition of cannibalizing is to eat one's own kind. Predation is the word you're looking for.

One can self-cannibalize (as opposed to cannibalize).
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post

The likes of Acer and Asus and what not, have no real marketing strategy. They are just leaches basing their whole existence on smaller margins and volume sales of cheap knockoffs. Problem is, they don't control their own destiny, the primary players do. If HP stagnates, they do too.

Nobody in the world says yeah! I'm going to buy an acer today... It's more like, I got this pc for $399, not a bad deal.

The well ran dry with tablets since they could have only copied successful HP or motorola models, and those just don't exist. Both their board and the ousted CEO are big losers for not having any original ideas.

So true. There isn't a singe company among them that actually has the capacity to innovate since they never have, the word isn't even in their vocabulary. Let's not forget either that even the snake's head, Microsoft, that spawned all of them ripped off the Mac OS. So even at the heart of a product from their world there is zero innovation, just more ripped of IP.

It's as if the entire PC world just woke up and realized that for the last several decades they have been making dodos and wooly mammoths and guess what ... ?
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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post #18 of 32
Acer is dead like most in the pc industry.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, Lanci said Acer was resistant to the change because it might result in a "de-Taiwanization" of the company.

fear of de-Taiwanization of the Company.

Gianfranco Lanci

It's obvious why he was fired...
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Acer is dead like most in the pc industry.

Acer sell tons of products at a razor thin markup . Yet over the last 4 yrs they held the price but made most of there devices better .For $35 dollars I bought an Acer DVD player .It work s just the same as the $100 dollar model.

Acer knocks on Dells door not Apples . Acer and Apple live on different worlds .


9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So true. There isn't a singe company among them that actually has the capacity to innovate since they never have, the word isn't even in their vocabulary. Let's not forget either that even the snake's head, Microsoft, that spawned all of them ripped off the Mac OS. So even at the heart of a product from their world there is zero innovation, just more ripped of IP.

It's as if the entire PC world just woke up and realized that for the last several decades they have been making dodos and wooly mammoths and guess what ... ?

Hey, let's be fair here. Didn't Microsoft invent the talking paper clip?
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

cer knocks on Dells door not Apples . Acer and Apple live on different worlds .

Not anymore.

Go back and reread the article. Acer is changing its business model because the iPad destroyed the netbook sector.

Apple did not just knock on Acer's door. Acer left the door wide open, and Apple barged right in and drank all the beer in the fridge leaving Stan Shih with a bunch of empty bottles to take to the recycling bin.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by toppura View Post

Hey, let's be fair here. Didn't Microsoft invent the talking paper clip?

Which leads to my next question: can you really patent a bent piece of wire?
The fastening of papers has been historical referenced to as early as the 13th century, when people put ribbon through parallel incisions in the upper left hand corner of pages. Later people started to wax the ribbons to make them stronger and easier to undo and redo. This was the way people clipped papers together for the next six hundred years.

In 1835, a New York physician named John Ireland Howe invented a machine for mass producing straight pins. Straight pins then became a popular way to fasten papers together, although they were not originally designed for that purpose. Straight pins were designed to be used in sewing and tailoring, to temporally fasten cloth together.

Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor with a degree in electronics, science and mathematics, invented the paperclip in 1899. He received a patent for his design from Germany in 1899, since Norway had no patent laws at that time. Johan Vaaler was an employee at a local invention office when he invented the paperclip. He received an American patent in 1901 -- patent abstract "It consists of forming same of a spring material, such as a piece of wire, that is bent to a rectangular, triangular, or otherwise shaped hoop, the end parts of which wire piece form members or tongues lying side by side in contrary directions." Johan Vaaler was the first person to patent a paperclip design, although other unpatented designs might have existed first.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

They can emulate till the cows come home but Apple will always be steps ahead while the emulators spend themselves into the ground.

They're slow to even emulate because the message that has been drilled into everyone for years is that Microsoft & PCs are a success, and Apple - being proprietary - is a failure. That's not looking at things like profit margins, or why the PC world was so dominant to begin with.

Apple stopped innovating when Jobs was gone and wasn't about to challenge the PC world. Remember MacOS without memory protection or multitasking? There was a time where the PC side was technically ahead on hardware and software. But even then, margins there were pretty poor. Now bring innovation back to the competition (Apple), and suddenly the PC world is shown as the steaming pile of crap that it is.

The monetization is like the old SNL skit where they talked about losing money on every item they sold - but they make it up in volume! And the PC makers are uniquely unprepared to innovate or make nice products since that has NEVER been part of the PC culture.

HP is trying with the Pre purchase, so good luck to them, and the rest can fight over Androids table scraps.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

----
---The number of engineers Lanci required could not be found in Taiwan, so he suggested looking elsewhere:--
-
---Acer took issue with Lanci's claim that the company's capabilities weren't up to the task of building a tablet, highlighting instead the fact that its Android 3.0 tablet PCs trailed behind only Apple and Motorola when they began shipping.

----. However, after sales and profits slowed at the end of 2010, founder Stan Shih announced that the company would overhaul operations to more closely emulate Apple's strategy.

Acer had previously pursued a volume strategy, "striving to become the world`s largest PC vendor, in the belief that the goal can help it achieve economy of scale and garner higher margin," according to one report.---.


Sorry to say that talking and doing are two different things.

"The number of engineers Lanci required could not be found in Taiwan" Throwing bodies at a problem is not the answer... Just ask Microsloth.

" However, after sales and profits slowed at the end of 2010, founder Stan Shih announced that the company would overhaul operations to more closely emulate Apple's strategy"

Saying that you will copy someone and having no idea how they operate is just stupid. :-)

Just a thought,
en
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Not anymore.

Go back and reread the article. Acer is changing its business model because the iPad destroyed the netbook sector.

Apple did not just knock on Acer's door. Acer left the door wide open, and Apple barged right in and drank all the beer in the fridge leaving Stan Shih with a bunch of empty bottles to take to the recycling bin.

I saw many blog reporting how much the iPad has "destroyed" the Netbook market. But I think Apple and the iPad got very little to do with this.

Netbook vendor are responsible for their own fall, since they no longer want to develop their on OS and they all switch to Windows. Let's face it, Netbook are toy laptop without enough horsepower and screen size to run adequately usual Windows software like Office or Adobe CS. I say, it's time of get rid of this horrible licensed OS practice and for PC-Device vendor to develop their own software like RIM and HP. Windows always being a poor man OS, and still to this date the only non-unix based OS still on the market. After 20 years of monopoly, a lot of people are getting tired of Windows and the popularity of new emerging OS like iOS and Android could be a sign of a new computer era without Microsoft being the key player.
post #27 of 32
These CEOs should stay or quit based on one question to their boards...
"If you want me to compete with Steve Jobs, will you let me make Steve Jobs decisions?
You can't compete against a company like Apple that is obviously operating on a different standard of success. Apple doesn't prioritize boring things. And volume and saturation on their own are boring. So even if a company is lucky enough to achieve volume and saturation it's still doomed to be boring. Apple tends to be perfectly happy with being in second-place in terms of standard benchmarks if they're achieving success in more nebulous things like customer loyalty, culture excitement, innovation, etc.
post #28 of 32
I believe what the leaving CEO says to be honest.

The company I used to work for was essentially Acer Support NZ doing all the warranty work and Acers are really bad machines. They are alright when they go but when they fail they suck badly. Their processes suck in getting the right parts making the engineer look bad when it's Acer supplying an HDD for a power supply issue.

We had a CEO for the company I used to work for who was awesome but he left essentially disgusted that the employees were treated like cattle but his hands were tied by the culture of the company and he only lasted a year, not enough time to actually do anything about anything.

Corporations suck and are so out of touch with the customers and employees that it's clear they don't want to succeed.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post

@AppleInsider: The definition of cannibalizing is to eat one's own kind. Predation is the word you're looking for.

Indeed. This isn't the first time AI has improperly used that word.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

fear of de-Taiwanization of the Company.

Gianfranco Lanci

It's obvious why he was fired...

Lanxi Ji-Ahn is Taiwanese.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Which leads to my next question: can you really patent a bent piece of wire?
Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor with a degree in electronics, science and mathematics, invented the paperclip in 1899.

A degree in electronics in 1899, at a time when the computer TV and radio were yet to be invented??!!

Sounds suspect to me...
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiA View Post

A degree in electronics in 1899, at a time when the computer TV and radio were yet to be invented??!!

Sounds suspect to me...

At a time when telephone technology was taking off replacing telegraph lines? at a time when radio technology was coming into its own? when Marconi had already invented the wireless? oh the list goes on.

You obviously think that technology prior to 1950 was alchemy and witchcraft!

Here's an interesting read on early radio:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_of_radio
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