exacerbated by a $120 million write-off related to the company's Gateway, eMachines and Packard Bell product brands. The company recently commented on its Q4 loss, stating that it reached NT$3,37 billion ($116 million). That is down from a net profit of NT$94 million in the same period the year before. Revenue also reached NT$101.5 billion, a decrease from NT$127.5 billion the year before.
Back in January Acer announced a write-off from the lost value in its Gateway, eMachines and Packard Bell trademarks,
which were all acquired by Acer back in 2007 as a $710 million deal. Since then, the company has discontinued the eMachines brand and is planning on refocusing its product portfolios under Gateway and Packard Bell.
If you exclude the write-off, Acer would have gained a net profit of NT$131 million which translates to a year-over-year increase of 39%. Acer reported the net loss as PC shipment growth remains down during an era where smartphones and tablets are in high demand. This market change has been especially hard for Acer as the company has reported back-to-back quarterly net losses in 2011.
Over 80% of Acer's revenue comes from desktops and notebooks, though the company expects that its tablets and convertible PCs will help drive growth. Acer CEO J.T. Wang said that the supply chain for tablets has matured while the company has noticed "sales momentum" behind touch-based Windows 8 products like the Surface tablet.
Acer is projecting that it will ship 5 million tablets this year, all of which will be running either Windows 8 or Android. However, the company also hopes to exceed that figure and reach 10 million units. According to Wang, "We will have a full line of tablets of Windows 8, and also we will have a full line of Android tablets. By the second half of this year, we will have a very competitive, full range. So you can expect we will be very aggressive in this category."
Source: Computer World - Acer reports net loss in Q4 from trademark write-off
Acer recently revised its estimates and, as of right now, doesn't expect "explosive growth" for Windows 8 devices when the operating system launches in October. The CEO of Acer also cited a lack of consumer interest as one of the primary reasons for the new estimate. Acer CEO J.T. Wang was cited saying, "We are still waiting for the signal of the consumers' enthusiasm."
Acer is currently the world's third largest PC vendor and originally expected high growth for the company during the second half of this year. In particular, Acer believed that Windows 8 would help usher in a plethora of new notebooks and tablet devices to the market.
However, the rocky global economy and the uncertainty of the Windows ecosystem have Wang believing that the company will most likely see medium growth. "We see that a lot of PC brand companies and also the channels have a cautious attitude," Wang added. "Although everyone is preparing for the Windows 8 launch, but still there is a lot of reservation, and so we do not see the momentum for very explosive growth has been accumulated."
These "doom and gloom" remarks from Wang don't really surprise anybody though. Wang was quoted earlier asking Microsoft to not sell its own Windows 8 tablet, known as the Surface tablet, as it would hurt the PC vendor partners that Microsoft does business with, including Acer.
Apple currently dominates the tablet market with its juggernaut iPad. Things like iPad rentals have been soaring recently, along with other tablet and laptop rentals, and I would expect that number to increase with the release of the Surface tablet. Rentacomputer.com sees the influences that certain products have on the technology industry and the iPad definitely paved the way for things like Microsoft's Surface tablet.
Many people are looking to the Surface to dethrone Apple's iPad. Many have tried and the closest (in my opinion) anyone has come has to be Samsung and the Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately, Samsung and Apple are in a huge patent war right now so we can see how well that worked out. But maybe the Surface tablet has what it takes, we can only wait and see.
Source: PC World - Acer Does Not Expect 'Explosive Growth' for Windows 8 Later This Year
Just last year, notebook companies were touting 8 hour battery life. Now we are up to 10 hours and I hear there is an 18 hour model in the works! This new 'longer life battery' technology was on display at the International Technology Rental Association Trade Show in San Diego earlier this year. John Beagle was there with his Tech Travel show to see new longer life laptops first hand.
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