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Acer clinging to netbooks amid pressure from iPad, MacBook Air

post #1 of 33
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Despite being squeezed on both sides by Apple's iPad and MacBook Air products, Acer says it remains committed to netbooks, especially in emerging markets.

Acer vice president Scott Lin voiced the company's stance on the netbook market in response to recent rumors that South Korea's Samsung will back out of the mini-notebook segment next year, as noted by DigiTimes.

Lin, who is set to take over as head of Acer's China operations, said the PC maker will continue to target emerging markets such as China, India and Indonesia where netbook demand remains strong. Acer has grown to become the second-largest PC brand in China.

"Although netbooks only contribute limited profits, since emerging markets that wish to strengthen their IT education will normally place large amount of orders, the strong volume could still help boosting the overall sales of the product line, Lin noted," the report read.

The company currently sits atop the netbook market with sales of 1.7 million units and 22 percent market share in the third quarter. Rival Asustek took second place with 1.2 million units and Samsung came in third with 840,000 netbooks sold.

Taiwan-based Acer saw its sales volume rise along with the growth in the low-margin netbook market several years ago, but the arrival of the iPad last year, combined with a significant price drop in Apple's own thin-and-light notebook, the MacBook Air, has threatened netbooks. In the third quarter of calendar 2011, Apple sold 11.2 million iPads, more than all netbooks combined during the same period.

Meanwhile, numerous analysts have revised their PC shipment estimates downward this year on concerns that the tablet market, which is dominated by the iPad, has led to weakened demand for PCs.

Cannibalization from the iPad contributed to Acer's first-ever quarterly loss in the second quarter of this year. Chairman J.T. Wang reassured investors by predicting that the tablet "fever" would quickly recede. Wang also said last year that the iPad will drop to just 20 percent of the tablet market.

With the introduction of the 11.6-inch $999 MacBook Air last year, Apple's encroachment upon the netbook market became a dual approach: the iPad from below, and the MacBook air from above. Sales of the ultra-thin portable have jumped up sharply this year and may soon eclipse Acer's netbook sales. As of October, the MacBook Air accounted for 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments in the U.S., up from just 8 percent in the first half of the year. Apple sold a record 3.6 million portables last quarter.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple may further heat up competition with the release of a 15-inch MacBook Air model early next year. Retail channel sources told DigiTimes on Monday that Apple will drop the price of its existing MacBook Airs before launching new models, possibly as early as the first quarter of 2012.



Apple saw the most-robust growth among the top five PC vendors in the U.S. PC market last quarter, while Acer saw the biggest decline. According to market research firm Gartner, Apple grew 21.5 percent year over year, while Acer's shipments fell 25.4 percent over the same period.

Netbooks face a third challenge beyond tablets and the MacBook Air: Intel's own Ultrabook specification. In May, the chipmaker unveiled its design guidelines for new "no-compromise" sub-$1000 thin-and-light laptops, dubbed Ultrabooks. However, some pundits mocked the category as no more than a "makeover" for netbooks. Acer has signed on to be an initial partner Ultrabook partner, but one report earlier this month claimed the PC maker had reduced initial Ultrabook orders by 40 percent because of slow sales.

Ultrabook makers have faced challenges matching the build quality of Apple's MacBook Air. For instance, Intel's partners have reportedly been unable to procure aluminum chassis production capacity and supplies for their Ultrabook designs, turning instead to plastic solutions.
post #2 of 33


Apple creates iMac. eMachines creates eOne. Apple sues eMachines. eMachines goes bankrupt. Gateway buys eMachines. Gateway goes bankrupt. Acer buys Gateway. Acer makes netbooks. Apple makes MacBook Air. Acer goes bankrupt?



Just switch already!
post #3 of 33
Apple - the undiscovered country.

Gorgeous architecture (MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone, iMac), gorgeous and diverse people (Apple design team, readers of AI lol, etc.), excellent governance (Mac OS X, iOS), gorgeous, if quirky, culture (App store, iTunes, iLife, iWork), great economy (bucket loads of cash), great foreign policy (can run Windows, Linux, embassies welcome), great future (architecturally, culturally, and fiscally - share price).

Further, anyone can become a citizen, visas are available at every Apple Store (even online - how progressive) and language is no barrier!

How on Earth did mere human beings manage to create such beauty?!
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post #4 of 33
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Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Apple - the undiscovered country.

Gorgeous architecture (MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone, iMac), gorgeous and diverse people (Apple design team, readers of AI lol, etc.), excellent governance (Mac OS X, iOS), gorgeous, if quirky, culture (App store, iTunes, iLife, iWork), great economy (bucket loads of cash), great foreign policy (can run Windows, Linux, embassies welcome), great future (architecturally, culturally, and fiscally - share price).

Further, anyone can become a citizen, visas are available at every Apple Store (even online - how progressive) and language is no barrier!

How on Earth did mere human beings manage to create such beauty?!

Who said they were human? .... (music from Twilight Zone)
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post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The company currently sits atop the netbook market with sales of 1.7 million units and 22 percent market share in the third quarter. Rival Asustek took second place with 1.2 million units and Samsung came in third with 840,000 netbooks sold.



Sales of the ultra-thin portable have jumped up sharply this year and may soon eclipse Acer's netbook sales. As of October, the MacBook Air accounted for 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments in the U.S., up from just 8 percent in the first half of the year. Apple sold a record 3.6 million portables last quarter.



I thought that the netbook was dead dead dead.

I thought that the Air was selling gangbusters.

But even third-place Samsung sells more netbooks than Apple sells the Air. I didn't even know that Samsung made netbooks!~

All together, the netbook market dwarfs the Macbook Air market.

I've been wrong before. Guess I was wrong thinking that netbooks were dead.
post #6 of 33
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Who said they were human? .... (music from Twilight Zone)

Shhhh... don't give the game away, not yet!
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post #7 of 33
Mentions emerging marktes. Frankly makes perfect sense to me. Those in emerging markets wouldn't be able to afford Macbook Air's or Ultrabooks...and same goes for iPads or most Android tablets.
If the netbooks and cheap tablets (Amazon Fire, Nook etc) are in the price range of affordability, it makes perfect sense to keep on creating them.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Apple - the undiscovered country.


Apple is a giant multinational corporation owned mostly by Wall Street types like hedge funds.

But you are welcome to express your fantasies about it.

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I thought that the netbook was dead dead dead.

I thought that the Air was selling gangbusters.

But even third-place Samsung sells more netbooks than Apple sells the Air. I didn't even know that Samsung made netbooks!~

All together, the netbook market dwarfs the Macbook Air market.

You might want to check those numbers.

Apple sells probably 2 times as many Airs as Samsung sells netbooks, and Apple sells the product at 4x the price and probably 10x the profit per unit.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



Apple creates iMac. eMachines creates eOne. Apple sues eMachines. eMachines goes bankrupt. Gateway buys eMachines. Gateway goes bankrupt. Acer buys Gateway. Acer makes netbooks. Apple makes MacBook Air. Acer goes… bankrupt?



Just switch already!


bee-beep-beep-beep-beep-bep!

Edit: The Ellen Feiss commercial.

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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I thought that the netbook was dead dead dead.

I thought that the Air was selling gangbusters.

But even third-place Samsung sells more netbooks than Apple sells the Air. I didn't even know that Samsung made netbooks!~

All together, the netbook market dwarfs the Macbook Air market.

I've been wrong before. Guess I was wrong thinking that netbooks were dead.

You've isolated a single product category within Apple's Mac product line to compare to all vendors selling netbooks and somehow came to the conclusion that Apple sucks. That's even more impressively idiotic than you comparing the iPhone to all Android-based vendors to claim Apple sucks. Way to go!

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post #12 of 33
Emerging markets?

I suppose that's a polite way of saying third world, poor as dirt countries, with poor as dirt people, because netbooks are pure garbage, and I guess that's the only market that makes sense if you happen to be selling netbooks. Nobody else wants them.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Emerging markets?

I suppose that's a polite way of saying third world, poor as dirt countries, with poor as dirt people, because netbooks are pure garbage, and I guess that's the only market that makes sense if you happen to be selling netbooks. Nobody else wants them.

And what is wrong with that? There are significantly more people who can afford a netbook than those that can afford a Macbook Air, or even an iPad. If Acer can somehow reach out to those people and sell them netbooks, frankly they can make a killing. Though it's doubtful they could...
As for them being pure garbage...err...some are sure, but all? err...for what they are intended to be able to do, I think some are quite decent.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppermonkey View Post

And what is wrong with that?

Well, I don't like junk products and netbooks qualify as junk products in my book. I'm not going to praise what I consider to be a waste of tech. Since I like Apple's computers, it is fairly obvious that devices like iPads and Macbook Airs are what I favor when it comes to light weight portable devices.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Emerging markets?

I suppose that's a polite way of saying third world, poor as dirt countries, with poor as dirt people, because netbooks are pure garbage, and I guess that's the only market that makes sense if you happen to be selling netbooks. Nobody else wants them.

And that's the impolite way of saying it.

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John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 33
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

And that's the impolite way of saying it.

I am always happy to oblige.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Since I like Apple's computers, it is fairly obvious that devices like iPads and Macbook Airs are what I favor when it comes to light weight portable devices.

Not so obvious. I use OS X over Windows, and intend to buy an Android mobile device over an iOS device for the same reason - versatility.
post #18 of 33
Netbooks only make sense to me precisely on emerging markets. You can get a netbook on a sub $300 range and, for countries with very low life standards, it can be a good choice.
For more developed countries it doesn't make sense at all. A tablet is more than enough for medium to low computation needs.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppermonkey View Post

And what is wrong with that? There are significantly more people who can afford a netbook than those that can afford a Macbook Air, or even an iPad. If Acer can somehow reach out to those people and sell them netbooks, frankly they can make a killing. Though it's doubtful they could...
As for them being pure garbage...err...some are sure, but all? err...for what they are intended to be able to do, I think some are quite decent.

Depends how you define "make a killing". Apple makes all the profits in the computer industry. The cloners make nothing after sending huge checks to Microsoft for the pleasure of installing the bloated, insecure, unreliable, Windows Operating System.

Apple has already proved the commodity cloner market can not make money even via volume; it is a race to the bottom with the only winner being Microsoft.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

You might want to check those numbers.

Apple sells probably 2 times as many Airs as Samsung sells netbooks, and Apple sells the product at 4x the price and probably 10x the profit per unit.

"Sales of the ultra-thin portable have jumped up sharply this year and may soon eclipse Acer's netbook sales. As of October, the MacBook Air accounted for 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments in the U.S., up from just 8 percent in the first half of the year. Apple sold a record 3.6 million portables last quarter."

28% of 3.6M = 1,008,000 Airs sold.


"The company currently sits atop the netbook market with sales of 1.7 million units and 22 percent market share in the third quarter. Rival Asustek took second place with 1.2 million units and Samsung came in third with 840,000 netbooks sold."

Yep, they outsold Samsung netbooks. But just barely, nowhere near 2 times.

you might want to check those fantasies.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You've isolated a single product category within Apple's Mac product line to compare to all vendors selling netbooks and somehow came to the conclusion that Apple sucks. That's even more impressively idiotic than you comparing the iPhone to all Android-based vendors to claim Apple sucks. Way to go!

The article that I commented upon made the comparison.

I never concluded anything about Apple.

Go back to the mountaintop. You seem to have missed the view.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I thought that the netbook was dead dead dead.

I thought that the Air was selling gangbusters.

But even third-place Samsung sells more netbooks than Apple sells the Air. I didn't even know that Samsung made netbooks!~

All together, the netbook market dwarfs the Macbook Air market.

I've been wrong before. Guess I was wrong thinking that netbooks were dead.

Just for the record, you're always wrong.


I don't recall anyone saying that the MBA outsold netbooks. After all, the MBA is $1,000 to $1500 (or more) and netbooks are as cheap as $79.

What HAS been said is that since the release of the MBA and, more importantly, the iPad, netbook sales volumes have dropped. And even there, it has been a gradual decline rather than falling off a cliff. There haven't been any reasonable people claiming that netbooks were dead - just that their years of stratospheric growth rates were over and that tablets would bite into their sales - which is exactly what has happened.

So I guess it's no surprise that reality doesn't match your delusions.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Emerging markets?

I suppose that's a polite way of saying third world, poor as dirt countries, with poor as dirt people, because netbooks are pure garbage, and I guess that's the only market that makes sense if you happen to be selling netbooks. Nobody else wants them.

Lovely first world attitude. If you can't afford Apple, you should not have a computer at all!
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Well, I don't like junk products and netbooks qualify as junk products in my book. I'm not going to praise what I consider to be a waste of tech. Since I like Apple's computers, it is fairly obvious that devices like iPads and Macbook Airs are what I favor when it comes to light weight portable devices.

Um..you do realize there are people (billions of them) that can't afford an ipad? let alone Macbook Air's? So, for those, what are they supposed to do? Keep on using an abacus? Twiddle their fingers until they win the lottery that doesn't exist yet? Sell their kids?
Acer is talking about emerging markets. We don't live in those markets (well, most that read AppleInsider anyhow). Open your mind to the prospect that the rest of the world isn't necessarily like our country (whichever that may be).
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Depends how you define "make a killing". Apple makes all the profits in the computer industry. The cloners make nothing after sending huge checks to Microsoft for the pleasure of installing the bloated, insecure, unreliable, Windows Operating System.

Apple has already proved the commodity cloner market can not make money even via volume; it is a race to the bottom with the only winner being Microsoft.

Alright, make a killing may have been an exaggeration. On the other hand, if the cloners make 'nothing' as you say, then there would only be '1' computer manufacturer, and that would be Apple. And last I checked, that isn't the case.
If Dell, Acer, Lenovo and their ilk make 'nothing' or next to 'nothing' then they wouldn't be doing what they are doing right now. Since that is false, I think it's safe to assume that they do make money from selling computers. Just not as much as Apple. Though perspective wise, I don't recall ever hearing about how much profits (or how much more profits) Apple makes from their computer lines (Macbook series and iMac's).
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganHunter View Post


Netbooks only make sense to me precisely on emerging markets. You can get a netbook on a sub $300 range and, for countries with very low life standards, it can be a good choice.
For more developed countries it doesn't make sense at all. A tablet is more than enough for medium to low computation needs.

The usual 10" netbook with an Atom processor and Windows 7 Starter are no longer a good value at $299...

Look at what you can now get for $299...

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

The usual 10" netbook with an Atom processor and Windows 7 Starter are no longer a good value at $299...

Look at what you can now get for $299...


Well, that's good because you can now get a netbook for under $100 (usually more like 7" screen, though). Or a 10" netbook for around $200.
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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I thought that the netbook was dead dead dead.

I thought that the Air was selling gangbusters.

But even third-place Samsung sells more netbooks than Apple sells the Air. I didn't even know that Samsung made netbooks!~

All together, the netbook market dwarfs the Macbook Air market.

I've been wrong before. Guess I was wrong thinking that netbooks were dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You've isolated a single product category within Apple's Mac product line to compare to all vendors selling netbooks and somehow came to the conclusion that Apple sucks. That's even more impressively idiotic than you comparing the iPhone to all Android-based vendors to claim Apple sucks. Way to go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Just for the record, you're always wrong.


I don't recall anyone saying that the MBA outsold netbooks. After all, the MBA is $1,000 to $1500 (or more) and netbooks are as cheap as $79.

What HAS been said is that since the release of the MBA and, more importantly, the iPad, netbook sales volumes have dropped. And even there, it has been a gradual decline rather than falling off a cliff. There haven't been any reasonable people claiming that netbooks were dead - just that their years of stratospheric growth rates were over and that tablets would bite into their sales - which is exactly what has happened.

So I guess it's no surprise that reality doesn't match your delusions.

Check it out-- we've reached the point where if Apple doesn't dominate a segment, even when it comes to machines running Windows vs. OS X, it can be spun as disappointing or evidence that Apple isn't all it's cracked up to be. Amazing.
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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppermonkey View Post

Um..you do realize there are people (billions of them) that can't afford an ipad? let alone Macbook Air's? So, for those, what are they supposed to do?

Of course I realize that.

I suppose that their predicament doesn't really concern me much. I like talking about sexy tech products, which is why I visit Apple forums like this one, and netbooks are the opposite of that.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Lovely first world attitude. If you can't afford Apple, you should not have a computer at all!

No, I never insinuated any such thing. Let them buy all the netbooks they want for all I care. I just don't think that anybody should be surprised that netbooks are going to be slammed on an Apple forum.

If somebody visits ThirdworIdinsider.com, netbooks might be highly praised for all I know.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

Not so obvious. I use OS X over Windows, and intend to buy an Android mobile device over an iOS device for the same reason - versatility.

It may not be obvious for everybody, I'm just speaking for myself.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Well, that's good because you can now get a netbook for under $100 (usually more like 7" screen, though). Or a 10" netbook for around $200.

Yes... but I said good VALUE.

7" netbook would be too small.... and a 10" netbook still isn't very appealing.

If the netbook is to be credited with anything... it drove the price of full-sized laptops down.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Well, that's good because you can now get a netbook for under $100 (usually more like 7" screen, though). Or a 10" netbook for around $200.

Where are these mythical $100 netbooks? Take a look at Newegg's Netbook section. Just a year ago you had a helluva lot more options. Now, you have 37. Here is where the pricing gets interesting.

http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCateg...&name=Netbooks

1 10" Android for $99.99. Yeah, no thanks.
All 7 in the 100-200 buck range are re-certified and out of stock
The 13 in the 200-300 range are all Atom processors running Win 7 Starter, except one Asus running the ASUS Express Gate OS.
The 300-400 netbooks are Atom and a few AMD C-60 processors, with 2/3 of them running 7 Home Premium over 7 Starter.
The 400-500 mostly run 7 Professional, with a couple 7 Home Premiums and a bit more variety w/Atoms, Athlon II Neo and Athlon E350 processors.
Asus has a couple of 12" models in the 500-700 range still running Atoms and 7 Home Premium. At that price tho, why buy a netbook, when you can have a more powerful laptop that doesnt' have to run Atoms?

The sweetspot for the netbook is clearly $300 or less. You can get a re-certified Acer 11.6" laptop w/a Core i3 in it for $280. $400 gets a (specwise at least) pretty decent system. Yes most of this is out of the price range of those who are having to rely o the OLPC systems, but considering most Netbooks start between $250 and $300, you may as well save a little more for a better system or just get a Nook Color or something if your needs are that basic.

The emerging markets (read:3rd world) need low cost systems to access the web and do basic computing. Tablets serve this need and companies have brought regular notebook prices all the way down to netbook prices, so I don't see the use of the Atom processor and it's competitors, unless companies are still talking about using Atom clusters for servers.

*Note. I tried posting this yesterday but my login was being wonky so some of the out of stocks may not be today, but they were yesterday
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