It is not going well for Acer at the moment. In a meeting to shareholders recently, Acer chairmen J T Wang said that the company would be reducing its projection of tablet sales by 60%. A big slash to be sure. To make matter worse Acer has also missed its last three quarterly forecasts and saw its former chief Gianfranco Lanci depart following a public fall out over how to approach the tablet business.
Its PC shipments which not long a go were its bread and butter are also falling. 16% down in the last quarter and 15% down the quarter before that as well. Its a sharp whack back into reality for a company that was riding high on netbook and cheap laptop sales making the company the second biggest PC behind HP, having leapfrogged Dell and Lenovo in quick succession.
Their Android Range Has Not Been Impressive
So far their Android range has been very... uninspiring really. The Acer Liquid E and other phones have hardly hit the headlines with impressive performance, great build quality, or innovative features, they have just simply been there.
The problem is that Acer are not an innovative company. They take what is popular and make it cheaper than everyone else. They do is in the laptop and PC market, they did this in the once popular netbooks becoming the main supplier of such devices. The problem is though that you can't really undercut companies in the phone industry effectively, mainly because most high-end phones in America are around $200 on contract, which are the type of phones that get the most publicity, and means when thinking long-term most customers are going to get the best phone the can get. Even here in the UK most phones are free on contracts (including the best ones), meaning it makes no sense in getting Acers latest phone when the Samsung Galaxy S2 or HTC Sensation are gong for the same price.
This may change if the Iconia Smart is any good. A 4.8" device that could attract some people it will carry a 1.1 GHz single core Snapdragon processor, 8 mp rear camera capable of 720p video record and 8 GB built-in storage. Depending on if its UI is any good or how customers perceive the Acer brand next to others it could provide the stepping stone to Acer getting into the Smartphone market for real.
On the tablet front things are not going so well. It's known that apart from the ASUS Transformer other Android tablets are not doing well, and Acer are no exception. With the tablet market an unsteady field Acer cannot undercut its products here and hope to bring out a product that enough people will buy. At present their own Tab is priced at a similar price point as the Transformer and with ASUS having a better brand name they are going to be the company most consumers go to for a great tablet experience. In this market, Acer will need to play the specs game with everyone else and try to innovate in order to bring customers in. As a company with a big reputation for netbooks do not be surprised if they release their tablets from a similar angle eventually (and offer keyboard accessories as well).
If any of our readers have or have had an Acer mobile product then please share your experiences in the comments and what you think about their products.