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Tablet, phone markets lure makers of PCs

(China Daily)

11:04, November 13, 2012

Taiwan personal computer maker Acer Inc is eyeing the high-end consumer market following the release of good Apple Inc and Samsung revenues. Executives said the newly issued Windows 8 could be "the last chance" to help the company back on its feet.

The rapid growth of the tablet and smartphone markets has been hitting the margins of PC makers, said Scott Lin, president of Acer Greater China.

"Although customers were spending the same amount of money on electronic products, iPads and smartphones have taken most of their budget," he said.

On Oct 22, Acer reported third-quarter net profits of NT$68 million ($2.3 million), well below analysts' estimates.

The world's largest chipmaker, Intel Corp, expected the PC business to grow at only about half the normal seasonal rate in the fourth quarter because of the passive economic outlook. Worldwide PC shipments fell more than 8 percent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier to 87.5 million, the biggest decline since 2001, said analysis company Gartner Group.

On Nov 2, Acer launched its first ultrabooks running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, trying to boost sales.

The touch-enabled S7 series is targeting the high-end market. The price for entry-level products is 9,999 yuan ($1,600).

The company is largely relying on its 1,600 brick-and-mortar stores in major cities across the nation to sell the S7 but it will also team up with online retailers to try to accelerate sales.

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