Acer: Apple is Beating Our Brains In, But Third-World Still Loves Our Netbooks

Acer: Apple is Beating Our Brains In, But Third-World Still Loves Our Netbooks

Photo by Wesley Fryer - http://flic.kr/p/6eqHEt

Despite being caught in Apple’s vise-like iPad and MacBook Air grip, Acer continues on with the belief there must be a market somewhere remaining for netbooks – maybe China. Monday, the head of the company’s China operations said “emerging markets” could boost vanishing profits. On Monday, the head of the company’s China operations said “emerging markets” could boost vanishing profits. In other words, everyone else may think netbooks suck, but they’re still good enough for those third-world citizens who don’t know any better.

According to industry publication DigiTimes, Acer vice president Scott Lin admits netbooks “only contribute limited profits,” yet said emerging markets “normally place large amounts of orders” for the devices largely consumed by Apple. Although Acer leads the netbook market with 1.7 million units sold in the third quarter, the Cupertino, Calif. tablet maker sold 11.2 million iPads during the same time – more than Acer, Asustek and Samsung netbooks combined.

The enormous demand for iPads over netbooks helped push Acer to its first quarterly loss during the second quarter. Little consolation came from the bizarre whistling-past-the-graveyard remarks by Acer Chairman J.T. Wang, who told investors consumers were just caught in a tablet “fever” that would soon recede (like Acer’s profits?) The Acer head is known for his spot-on predictions, like his 2010 pronouncement that the iPad would drop to 20 percent of tablet sales. Apple currently has more than 60 percent of the market and there’s no noticeable slippage in sight.

If netbook makers still think they can weather the iPad storm, there is also the MacBook Air – the $999 notebook that ate away any other reason consumers might have had to buy the cheap devices. The MacBook Air went from 8 percent of Apple’s notebook sales to 28 percent in just months. Now there is talk the MacBook Air could see an even steeper price cut as Apple preps a reported 15-inch model for early 2012.

But there could be some hope for Acer. Intel had promoted its Ultrabook laptops as defense against Apple eating more PC sales. However, unlike the devices’ “no-compromise” marketing, the chip giant won’t budge of its profits, causing some Ultrabook fans — including Acer — to jump ship.

However, betting it all on China may not be wise for Acer. The Asian nation has one of the largest markets, but it is not a miracle-worker. As we’ve reported, as China’s consumers become wealthier, they tend to prefer Apple products.

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  • Jordan Clay

    So, did you just really want us to know that “On Monday, the head of the company’s China operations said “emerging markets” could boost vanishing profits.” 

    because you put it in there twice

  • Alejandro Iglesias

    The term third world is quite offensive to people who live in those countries.
    I’m writing this from my MacbookPro 2011 with my iPhone4 and my iPad2 around my desk.

  • Jusyina85876

    @readers:disqus my best friend’s step-aunt makes $86 an hour on the computer. She has been fired for 3 months but last month her income was $7968 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it and get started following the steps here http://smlk.es/RealCash

  • PHILIPPINE

    <<third-world any=”" better.=”" citizens=”" don’t=”" know=”" who=”">>> f*** you I am from a third world country and i’m using all apple products idiot!</third-world>

  • Hiten Sheth

    Its funny how “first world countries” are in deep shit and still third world countries and citizens are looked down upon who provide great market. Thumbs down on that nonsense statement.

  • SevanGrim

    of course this article makes it seem like there is an 80% apple market out there… lol.
    everyone WANTS Apple products, but the pricing and limitations are what will always just keep the comp/laptop market from looking like the Phone market. When apple starts making affordable stuff, then you will see them dominate the market. Or when you can specialize their hardware. Until then, pc’s will be ok, and you mac journalists wont change that by trying to convince people pc’s are circling the drain. Thats not journalism, thats advertisement.

  • John Cavil

    For the record, China is a “Second World” country.

  • Brandon Dillon

    And you don’t see an issue with that?

  • Guest

    Well, ACER can hopefully keep the Chinese consumers poor by making them buy lots of trashy netbooks that need to be replaced after 1-year on average.

    By keeping the Chinese consumer poor, they’ll stick with Wintel!

  • Guest

    3rd World country gets assigned to countries that have an impoverished middle class.  Your country seems to fit the bill, unfortunately.  Even more unfortunately, America seems to be headed in that direction, too.

  • STRIPBLUNTS

    Apple actually has over 90% of the market!! Every other non-iPad tablet has sold a total of 1.2 million devices, TOTAL!! HP’s TouchPad sold the most at 208,000 units, while iPad sold over 10 million during the same time! These companies are beyond pathetic. But, clearly you’re right, Apple just tricks consumers into buying their devices & aren’t very good at all!

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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