Acer

Sarah Mishkin

Acer, the Taiwanese computer company, has struggled for a while to sell enough computers to stay profitable, but investors still found room for disappointment in its most recent results.

Shares were down nearly 4 per cent in Taipei today after management spoke with analysts and the media to explain its second quarter operating loss of NT$613m and its 19 per cent year on year fall in revenue to NT$89.4bn. Read more

Who’s buying?

PC companies just can’t get a break.

Shipments from the Taiwanese manufactures that make most of the world’s desktop and laptop computers hit a three-year low last quarter as consumers waited for fixes to Windows and decided to buy tablets and smartphones in the meantime. For those Taiwanese companies, those disappointing stats are one more reminder of the need to diversify away from their core PC business.

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Tech has had a rough week, between the worries surfacing about Microsoft’s Windows 8 and doubts about Apple’s newly unveiled iPad mini and disappointing second quarter results.

Those worries have taken their toll on supply chain companies and computer makers in Taiwan, for whom the fourth quarter is not shaping up to be the holiday-led recovery many hoped for.

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Chris Nuttall

Acer completed a slow reveal of its Windows 8 US launch products on Monday with all-in-one desktop PCs (pictured left)and two touchscreen displays.

This follows the unveiling over four different days earlier this month of Aspire S7 and M5 Ultrabooks, V5 series notebooks and two Iconia tablets. Read more

Some good news for Acer — the PC-maker narrowly edged out Lenovo and HP as the largest notebook PC seller globally last quarter, writes Sarah Mishkin in Taipei.

Narrow here means narrow. Acer now has 15.4 per cent of the market. Tied for second place are Lenovo and HP, which each have 15.3 per cent, according to new research from Gartner.  Read more

PC-maker Acerhad said that it could post as low as zero per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships this year.The announcement sent its shares tumbling 3 per cent, even though news that PC sales are freezing should hardly be surprising given the global economic slow down.Acer, the world’s third-largest computer vendor, had previously forecast 10 per cent annual growth in the number of computers it ships. That has now been trimmed to zero to 5 per cent growth, according to a company source.

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Acer and its former chief executive Gianfranco Lanci may have parted ways for almost a year now, but it is apparently not quite water under the bridge between the two sides.

The Taiwanese company said on Tuesday that it has initiated legal action in Mr Lanci’s home country of Italy, alleging that Mr Lanci violated non-compete clauses in the contract he signed with Acer upon leaving in Febuary 2011 – Mr Lanci joined Lenovo as a consultant in September, and the Chinese company last month announced Mr Lanci would head its Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, effective April. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets to rival Apple’s MacBook Air and  iPad 2 respectively are expected to take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially opens on Tuesday. Read more

When Acer last March unceremoniously ousted its then-chief executive Gianfranco Lanci, it was not an amicable parting, with both sides apportioning blame on the other for the split.

But if the Taiwanese company had thought they were rid of Mr Lanci by forcing his resignation, then they are sorely mistaken. Mr Lanci was this week appointed the head of Europe, Middle East and Africa by none other Lenovo, Acer’s Chinese rival. Read more

lenovo ideapad

To judge how tastes and fashions can change, I placed our four-year-old family laptop, an Acer Aspire, next to the latest version, launched this week, the S3.

Acer had subcontracted the design of our old Aspire to BMW and it had a glossy black exterior curved like a bonnet, while its lid opened and shut with the solidity of a German car door.

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Chris Nuttall

The MacBook Air finally has some serious competition with the first of the new Ultrabook laptops being launched here at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

After Toshiba unveiled what it claimed was the world’s thinnest and lightest 13.3in laptop on Thursday – the Portege Z830 - Acer followed up on Friday with the Aspire S3, which boasts 1.5 seconds start-up time from a sleep state that can last 50 days on its long-life battery. Read more

Acer boosted its cloud computing capabilities on Thursday by announcing that it plans to spend $320m to acquire iGware, a US cloud computing company whose technology powers Nintendo’s WiFi Connection. Read more

The new Chromebooks by Acer and Samsung may look like regular notebooks on the surface, but Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome, said that the parameters for every last detail, down to the individual components, were set by Google. Read more

Well, that didn’t take long. JT Wang, Acer chairman who is now running the world’s second biggest PC company after its board ousted Gianfranco Lanci, has taken his first step in transforming the company.

Less than a week after the boardroom shakeup, Acer has a new image – literally. The company on Monday unveiled a new logo, replacing the previous version that had been in use for the past decade. Read more

Gianfranco Lanci’s departure from Acer was as harsh as it was abrupt. The (now former) chief executive was effectively told to leave after two bad quarters. Prior to that, he delivered stellar growth for six years as president and three as chief executive.

There is already talk that Mr Lanci was being made a scapegoat. Read more

What Acer’s clear.fi does is, unfortunately for their marketing people, not easy to explain clearly. We took a shot at doing so when Acer first announced it in May, and on Friday it was JT Wang, Acer chairman’s turn at the world’s number two PC maker’s third quarter results conference.

Clear.fi, which automatically sets up a local area network between Acer devices, is intended to make it easy for users to access their photos and videos across different Acer products. It is such a big part of Acer’s new push to add software and services to their core hardware offerings that it will be installed on every single device Acer ships starting next year. Read more

Paul Taylor

All-in-one computers, which combine monitor and PC components in a single unit, are getting added appeal with multi-touch screens.

In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, we look at options from Acer, Apple and Sony. Read more

Well that didn’t take long.  Just a few days after Apple’s iPad hit international markets, both Asus and MSI, the Taiwanese PC brands best known for their netbooks, on Monday unveiled their respective versions of the tablet PC ahead of Computex

They weren’t the only ones, either.  Gianfranco Lanci, Acer chief executive, beat both his competitors to the mark by showing a glimpse of Acer’s tablet PC at a Beijing press conference last week.  So what to make of all these competing devices?  Several things stood out, after the jump: Read more

Acer clear.fi user interface

Speed has long been one of the secrets behind the success of Acer, the Taiwanese company that is now the world’s biggest seller of notebook PCs. 

Last April, they moved aggressively into the so-called ‘ultra thin’ notebook category by announcing plans for 30 models within the year.  At last year’s Computex trade fair, Acer became the first to unveil a prototype notebook running on Google’s Android operating system.

Now, within days after Google announced its grand plans for taking over our living rooms with Google TV, Acer said Thursday it plans to perform a similar feat using something it calls the ‘clear.fi’.  Apparently this year they couldn’t even wait for Computex, which opens next week, to make the announcement. Read more

Acer‘s attempt to muscle in on the fast-growing smartphones market can be described as a strategy of offering a cornucopia of choices to the consumer, if one was being charitable.

Unlike Apple, which laboured over perfecting one product – the iPhone – when it made its move into the nascent smartphone market, the world’s third-biggest PC maker yesterday launched four phone models in one go in Taiwan, and promised six more by the end of the year. Read more