It’s a sickness, this desire for iPads. That’s the diagnosis of the head of Acer, the netbook maker that has had the stuffing kicked out of it by, um, the iPad. But don’t fret, the Acer chairman says this tablet “fever” consumers have contracted will break.
And that first-ever quarterly loss of 234 million Acer reported Tuesday? That was just a “correction period,” company chairman J.T. Wang told reporters. The loss – double the $3.3 million in Taiwan dollars financial experts expected – makes it “impossible” for Acer to break even, Wang said.
But back to that tablet diagnosis, which could be shaky, given Acer’s previous predictions. In 2010, Wang said the iPad’s market would fall to just 20 or 30 percent of tablet sales. However, the Apple devices maintains more than 50 percent of the market, with some predicting it will have 90 percent of tablet sales through 2017.
How much of Acer’s decline can be traced back to the iPad? That depends on when you ask the company. In April, when Acer’s CEO at the time Gianfranco Lanci resigned, the announcement mentioned Apple’s success as a “key reason” for his leaving. However, a month later, after Lanci said Acer was caught flat-footed by the iPad, Wang said he ex-head of the No. 2 PC maker was kicked to the curb because he was ineffective.
The problem may not be so much that consumers fell under the iPad “fever” but that PC makers makers had delusions that people would love the tiny, overhyped, underpowered netbooks.