Acer’s At It Again: Now The Mac Is Predicted To Go Belly-Up

Acer’s At It Again: Now The Mac Is Predicted To Go Belly-Up

Photo by Greg Lilly Photos - http://flic.kr/p/a6881v

Acer is prognosticating again – hide the babies and keep your tin-foil hats firmly in place. The netbook maker’s chairman now expects Apple’s Mac sales will run out of steam by 2014, deflated by Intel’s ultrabook. This after diagnosing overwhelming tablet demand as a “fever” and the iPad slipping in popularity. Kreskin need not be worried — and neither should Apple.

According to a brief report by industry publication DigiTimes, Acer chairman JT Wang “expects Apple platform growth will start weakening in the next two years and the major driver will be replaced by the rapid growth of Wintel.” Wintel is comprised of chip giant Intel and Microsoft. Intel is pushing the ultrabook design as a way for PC makers such as Acer to bounce back against nosediving netbook sales and the MacBook Air.

Does this comment elicit anything other than giggles? The two points: Mac sales will “start weakening” and the “rapid growth” of ultrabooks are like the distant half-cousins of reality. Mac sales, particularly of the thin and low-cost MacBook Air, continue to be strong. Indeed, they have reached a 15-year-high, accounting for 28 percent of Apple notebook sales. Unless there is a drastic turnaround from the current tepid PC demand, the trend away toward Macs and tablets is likely to continue.

But what about that “rapid growth” of ultrabooks Wang is expecting? After all, the Acer chairman says the new category of PC in 2012 will fall to $699 and Intel is promising the notebooks will grab 40 percent of the mobile market.

And monkeys will fly.

PC makers have been screaming bloody murder that they need a 50 percent discount on Intel’s CPUs in order to meet the much-touted sub-$1,000 MacBook Air killer price. Instead, the chipmaker counter-offered a 20 percent discount — and only for “first-tier notebook players.” What’s more, we’re likely to see the ultrabooks not go head-to-head against the MacBook Air, but in “emerging markets,” such as China and India.

What’s the old saying about you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig? Same goes for ultrabooks, netbooks and Acer fortune-telling.

  • Jordan Clay

    I have to admit, I’m w/ the CEO of Acer on this one.  I believe the price of ultra-books will fall to $700 and they will gain more market share.  And the ultrabook that will do that…the Mac Book Air w/ the custom designed Apple A6 or A7 chipset

  • FriarNurgle

    Apple makes high quality products and uses their strong supply chain purchasing power to keep their costs low. Other companies can not match that. Sure they are starting to get close, but at the end of the day, it’ is not the same silky smooth experience you get with Apple’s products and infrastructure. 
    Apple will continue to grow, develop their products, and those supply chain ties. Look at some of the recent and rumored acquisitions by Apple. They are securing their future, their products future. 

  • John Branham

    that is CUTE.

  • Njideka Okafor

    I really think Apple’s choice to compete in the experience-space is what makes the real difference. If none of these PC makers change the focus on user-experience, Apple will remain in the lead.

    I’m a windows user. I love my windows machine. But i understand that people always want more. And if they’ve had a taste of windows and then get a taste of Apple, When they can afford to, they’ll make the switch to an Apple product. That’s the trend. That’s the market. That’s the consumer for you. Robert Kiyosaki once said, if you want to see the future, go to the movies. That’s what i see at the center of Apple. The whole StarTrekk and Wall-E thing.

    The deal with Intel and Microsoft may just bring a better experience for windows users, but i’m not sure that’s  the core focus at these companies.

    In the end, as consumer taste rises, experience will win over cost. -Recall that Buying for most people is mainly an emotional decision than factual.

  • ashrafs

    If Acer made netbooks that could legally run OS X, then maybe. Otherwise, hell no.

  • taylerz

    Buddies at Cult of Mac: I’m counting on you guys to archive all quotes said by competing executives. Like the one Dell said. Don’t we just love it when they eat their own words? The only thing it requires on our part is patience for it to play out; but be sure to know we’ll get the last laugh.

    That reminds me; that’s probably why Apple doesn’t give out stock dividends. To give dividends is like saying, “OK, investors, in order to keep you as investors, we’ll give you a little money”. Instead, without dividends, Apple is saying, “Thank you for believing in us. We’re in it for the long haul, too”.

  • Jordan Clay

    Yeah,  Handing out stock dividends is basically a company saying “you can use the money more than me…we don’t really have anything worth putting our money towards”

  • Marius Muntean

    The “… low-cost MacBook Air…” is the neighbor of ” … the distant half-cousins of reality “.

  • Steven Zahl

    $500 is the MAGIC NUMBER

  • 5imo

    Your missing the point of the Mac. It is better because of the tight nit integration between hardware and software which no other manufacturer can match.

  • Honyant

    Good old JT, can’t leave his wang alone.

  • ashrafs

    I totally agree, but that’s not why I own a Mac. The components working well together certainly is great and we become accustomed to that, but in the end OS X is the major winner for me. Windows sucks.

  • techgeek01

    Personally?

    I think late 2012, early 2013 tablets will take a huge hit.  Same with ultrabooks (MBA included).  Same with Netbooks.

    What will replace those?  Windows 8 powered tablets that have “laptop-like” docking stations.  Meaning you can have a full functional tablet and when you need the desktop experience, you drop it into the dock and you have a “laptop!”

    Why is that so significant?  Because someone can have a tablet AND a computer.  They can have BOTH.  BOTH is the key word.  Just a small percentage of people can really afford a tablet AND a computer.  But, Windows 8? (unless apple beats Microsoft to the punch, but in reality apple will NEVER make a device like that in the first place) They can have the tablet AND computer experience.

    I’m not trying to go on and say Windows 8 is the best!  But, windows 8 will be the first “REAL OS” that is optimized for BOTH touch and keyboard/mouse.

    I know several people who work in different offices for various things, who have issued out iPads.  Their main problem is, everywhere they go, they have to take their iPad….. AND laptop. When talking to them, what they want is something that is a tablet, but when the need arises they can have their tablet (essentially) transform into a full functional laptop.  That way, they don’t need to carry around a tablet AND a laptop.

     

  • techgeek01

    The argument that is true to a point.  Yes, Apple has tight integration between hardware and software.  The only problem? It’s medium of the line. At the most.  Period.  If you get the best hardware and the best software, mesh those two things together, it blows the Mac out of the water.

    People, really tend to forget it.  I have seen things done on PC’s that simply cannot be done on a mac. ( more of well done it is)  It just blows the mac out of the water.  Why? The hardware is the best, and software is the best. OS is (simply) flavor’s it.

    Integration?  Not (as) important as a lot of people claim it is.  If you pick the best hardware and the best software and stick those two together, you’re going to get an experience that cannot be rivaled by x company doing a tightly integration of medium (if not lower) hardware and medium line software.

  • gareth edwards

    It’s funny but I think when we look at the PC market and their problem with prices there is one culprit looming large that they all fail to identify, which has done more damage than anything else – themselves.

    The race to the bottom for many years (which was acutely accelerated with the netbook and cheapo Tablets) has made the average PC user so price sensitive that it is very hard to convince an average user to spend more than $500 on anything. Apple on the other hand (for good or bad) has always delivered products at the price they think is both inline with their brand, acceptable to their users and weighted to be aspirational. The upshot is Apple can bring out new stuff and not sweat over price points too much. The PC market on the other hand has made a rod for their own backs, bringing in truly innovative products like the UltraBooks is a very hard sell unless there are huge discounts floating around behind the scenes or corners are cut in the overall product build making what should be a premium product feel a little less so.

    The weirdest thing is that all the PC makers now see Apple as a direct competitor, on top of all their PC brethren. How things change eh?

  • Wayne_Luke

    Outside of the iPad and tablet market, Apple doesnt really have a commanding marketshare. It has always hovered between 5 and 10% depending on who you ask and what is included in the study. Even the iPhone has a small marketshare when considered in the entire cellphone market.

    However, this hasn’t prevented Apple from creating products in demand and making great profit margins. Acer’s claims are like Toyota saying they will put BMW or Audi out of business. I doubt that new Ultrabooks will change the dynamic dramatically.

  • gareth edwards

    and there in lies the problem. The VAST majority of users do not want to go schlepping around to try and ‘find’ the best HW/SW combo. They want to take X out of the box, turn it on and use it without huffing and puffing. It’s fine for the nerds of the world who measure their dicks by what their box of tricks can do but for the rest of humanity, it all comes down to being able to make a simple choice between products/services and benefit from the choice as soon as they begin using it.

    People don’t forget, people just aren’t interested. The best technology could be X+Y+Z but if it takes too much effort to get it working, then by default it’s not the best.

    In this space Apple has made the most effort to get the end user experience right. They deliver stuff you can use quickly and effectively and the end result is a positive imprint onto the user regardless of bleeding edge hardware specs or software that can do everything. 

    Sometimes you just want stuff to do a limited set of stuff really well. Ask the 99%.

  • gareth edwards

    Like the idea, problem is time scales. M$ is taking too long to do shit these days – they need to cut free that bag of fat and wind (ballmer) and get someone to steer the ship properly and get some shine back.

  • Courtlandcg2

    As apple gets bigger there products will eventually get cheaper and more universal. http://howtofixmymac.blogspot….

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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