Acer shifts focus to notebooks [Bangkok Post, Thailand :: ]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 27--Acer Inc, the world's fourth-largest PC maker, is embarking on a strategic plan to focus on hybrid notebooks and affordable smartphones in a bid to maintain local revenue growth.
The strategic shift is a response to the flagging notebook market that has seen a major stall in revenue growth, said Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, Acer Thailand's associate director for marketing.
He said Acer was also looking to participate in the junta's smart classroom project worth 6.9 billion baht.
The overall notebook market in Thailand is likely to see a contraction of 20% this year from 1.7 million units sold last year.
"The political impasse hit our sales revenue which grew at the slowest pace in the past decade," said Mr Nitipat.
He said in the best-case scenario, Acer would grow by only 5% this year, helped by continued investment spending by large enterprises and educational projects, which could account for 40% of revenue, up from 30% last year.
Mr Nitipat said the political unrest hit the local notebook market hard, contracting by 30% in the first half of this year.
Acer slashed its marketing budget by 20% this year to save costs, he said.
To boost sales revenue, Acer will soon launch a new flagship hybrid Windows-based notebook called the Aspire Switch10.
The notebook, equipped with a docking keyboard, 500-gigabyte hard disk drive and built-in keyboard, is priced at 15,900 baht.
"We're confident the new notebook will allow us to compete in the local educational market including the smart classroom project," Mr Nitipat said.
He said the hybrid notebook, which combines tablet functions with a notebook, will account for a 15-20% share in the notebook market this year.
"This will enable Acer to maintain its leadership in the local notebook market this year, with a 25% share expected," Mr Nitipat said.
Acer recently appointed Advice Distribution Co as its new IT distribution channel to help it expand its reach upcountry.
The company yesterday introduced an Android-based tablet featuring a seven-inch display priced at 3,990 baht.
Mr Nitipat also said the Android-based tablet market had been affected by the sluggish economy and political turmoil.
"The market saw no growth in the first half of this year, with total sales of 1.2 million units. Acer aims to gain a 10% share of the market," he said.
Acer plans to introduce a 3G entry-level smartphone priced below 2,000 baht by September.
The company will also introduce various smartphone models priced up to 16,000 baht apiece.
(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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