Sunday, June 19, 2011

Acer reducing 2011 tablet PC shipment target by 50%

Acer, on June 15, announced that the company has reduced its annual tablet PC shipment forecast from originally 5-7 million units to only 2.5-3 million units, a drop close to 50% and with brand vendors such as Motorola, RIM and Samsung Electronics all reportedly having reduced their tablet PC sales targets for 2011, concerns about whether Android-based tablet PCs will be able to compete against Apple's iPad are starting to rise among market watchers.

At the company's investors meeting on June 15, Acer chairman JT Wang pointed out that the company is currently in the middle of a great transition and the company's current goal is to lower its retail channel inventory. The company expects to continue working on digesting its inventory throughout the third quarter with expectations to have an inventory level the same as 7-8 years ago. Although Acer will reduce its annual tablet PC shipments, Wang is still confident about the performance of Android-based tablet PCs.

Wang pointed out that all the things that the closed system can do will all be able to function in the open system, but if consumers use the former, they will need to follow everything the closed system designers says and have no choice for expansion, or run Flash, and will not be able to be their own master. Acer is trying to serve consumers who want to make their own decisions.

Wang noted that after taking a series of emergency measures, Acer is currently in a safer state than before and should reach its shipment goal for the second quarter of a sequential drop of 10%. For the future, Wang expects Acer's third-quarter shipments to share a similar volume as in the second with a chance to be better. Its performance will bounce out of the button after the third quarter.

In addition to reducing inventory, the company is also working on reorganizing its employee management and is set to lay off about 300 employees in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East, while the US, Greater China and Asia Pacific markets will see no changes.

Acer president Jim Wong pointed out that the company already shipped 800,000 tablet PCs before the end of June and with the launch of its new 7-inch tablet PC, Acer's tablet PC shipments in the third quarter will reach 800,000 units. Wong added that the estimated numbers are all retail channel sales and include no additional 'push'.

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