Acer clinging to netbooks amid pressure from iPad, MacBook Air

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32




    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!
  • Reply 2 of 32
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,549member
    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?!
  • Reply 3 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,456member
    Quote:
    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)
  • Reply 4 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,549member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


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



    Shhhh... don't give the game away, not yet!
  • Reply 6 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    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.



  • Reply 8 of 32
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 32
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    And that's the impolite way of saying it.



    I am always happy to oblige.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    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.
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