Acer expects its mobility business, led by smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, to open up new opportunities as the revenue proportion from its traditional personal-computer products declines.
Acer Inc president and chief executive officer Jason Chen told the media during his first visit to Thailand since becoming the company’s head seven months ago that the new focus would also include two-in-one notebooks and Chromebooks.
He said worldwide Chromebook sales were expected to grow by 76 per cent this year. In the first six months, Acer sales grew 114 per cent. The key reasons for ChromesBook’s success are its affordability and low maintenance costs.
“We think Windows [PCs and notebooks] will still continue, but Chromebook is an alternative option – they will co-exist,” he said.
He added that Chromebooks and two-in-one notebooks – hybrid devices between notebooks and tablets – were the bright spots for growth.
Acer’s biggest business group has been notebooks for a long time, but now it is shifting to a dual strategy that consists of its BYOC (Bring Your Own Cloud) service and connected devices.
Acer will be aligning all apps and services under the sub-brand Acer BYOC. Then it will create new solutions and platform alliances, helping software and hardware developers build their own cloud apps based on the Acer Open Platform. Users can store data on personal computers or on an Acer data centre.
Acer BYOC will offer apps, middleware, and consultancy on its data centre. There is also technology to connect multiple devices.
“We do not think only about individual devices but we think about the whole range of computing devices, from corporate to consumer and from 3-inch to 30-inch,” Chen said.
Acer will offer wearable devices as a part of total mobility solution, not such devices alone. These will be available in the near future.
“Acer has three regional operations. We believe that we are well positioned in Southeast Asia. We are here [visiting Thailand] to understand the market and to know how the business dynamic [works],” Chen said.
Acer Computer’s managing director Harry Yang said the company’s business strategy in Thailand was in line with Acer’s corporate focus on mobility with BYOC and connected devices.
“Acer has changed. We are not only a PC company but have become a total mobility company. Our core business [traditional PCs and notebooks] will be diluted to only 50 per cent of our total revenue by the end of this year, while smartphone revenue will account for 25 per cent.
“Acer’s smartphone shipments to Thailand had the largest volume in [Southeast Asia] in the first quarter,” he said.
In the first quarter, Acer was No 3 in Thailand behind Apple and Samsung, according to International Data Corp.
Currently, Acer has around 20 per cent of Thailand’s PC market, and 32 per cent of the notebook market.