April 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm
Acer reported its first quarter results today and it didn’t make for pretty reading. The global recession led to profits slumping by almost a third to NT$2.0 billion ($60 million). Acer’s popular netbooks helped to shore the company’s results in the first quarter as consumers reined in spending amid a global recession. “Consumers are so picky, they don’t want to spend one dollar more than they really need,” says Acer chairman J.T. Wang.
Despite the resilient netbook segment, Acer lowered its netbook shipment forecast for 2009. It now expects to ship 10 million-12 million netbook PCs this year, compared with its previous forecast of 12 million-15 million. JT Wang says that he expects overall global netbook shipments to reach 50 million units in 2010.
According to Wang, netbook shipments in 2009 will reach 25-30 million units, up from 13.5 million units in 2008. According to the revised forecasts, Acer will have a still healthy 40-50 percent market share of netbook shipments this year. Despite the decline, Wang expects that the economic downturn will end by the middle of this year and that the IT industry will see better performance in the second half.
Some thoughts on the Google Android operating system also emerged from Acer’s Q1 investor conference. “The entire industry is looking at Android,” said Acer president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci. “We are testing Android on a lot of different solutions. We are working on an Android solution for the smartphone, [but] I think it’s too early to say if we’re going to see Android on a netbook in the near future.”
He said Android is “very, very good for communication and Web access and so on,” but he’s not sure yet if it’s right for traditional PCs. Acer’s venture into smartphones is likely to yield the first Android device for the company and it looks as if we’ll be waiting until 2010 at the earliest for an Android-powered netbook by the manufacturer.