Acer to Launch Full Line of Mobile Internet Devices in May

Acer plans to launch a full line of mobile Internet devices (MIDs) by the end of May in a bid to boost profitability and add to its mobile device offerings.

By Dan Nystedt
Thu, April 29, 2010

IDG News Service — Acer plans to launch a full line of mobile Internet devices (MIDs) by the end of May in a bid to boost profitability and add to its mobile device offerings.

The company will also release version 4.0 of its Shell user interface on the new MIDs, said Gianfranco Lanci, Acer's CEO and president, at the company's first-quarter investors' conference. The devices will all include 3G wireless connectivity and will be able to interact together and share data, he added.

Acer executives declined to further discuss what kind of devices it would reveal.

The company depends on mobile devices for its livelihood. Mobile computers such as laptops and netbooks accounted for 69 percent of its revenue in the first quarter. Netbooks, which Acer leads in, will continue to grow at a rate of nearly 50 percent this year, executives said.

"The netbook is still growing faster than the notebook," said Lanci. "I think growth with stabilize at 45 percent to 50 percent growth for the next two or three years."

Acer's revenue in the first quarter rose 36 percent year-on-year to NT$162.1 billion (US$5.2 billion). Net profit increased 63 percent to NT$3.29 billion. The results would have been better but the company faced bottlenecks in some shipments of components, Acer executives said. Acer was able to get all the components it needed, but the shipments came in later than hoped for sometimes.

The company plans to redouble its efforts in China, and acknowledged having learned lessons in the market. The company plans to boost marketing spending in the nation and increase consumer research to make sure it's putting the right components on devices there. Chinese users prefer larger screens and always look for independent graphics chips, said J.T. Wang, chairman of Acer.

"I think this time we have the right approach," he said. The company has set a goal of US$1.5 billion in revenue in China this year.

Most of Acer's revenue comes from Europe, which accounts for 50 percent, with 27 percent from the U.S., while the Asia-Pacific region made up the majority of the rest, including 5 percent in China and Taiwan. Acer hopes to boost the China figure to around 8 percent.

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