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INTERVIEW ACER


Acer’s wild


With meteoric growth in the PC market under its belt, Taiwan-based vendor Acer has set its sights on a number of targets outside the traditional IT space, looking to leverage its expertise in computers to other converging markets. Andrew Wooden gets the low-down from Bobby Watkins, general manager for Acer UK and Linda Hassall, retail account manager…


ACER IS arguably the company to have benefited most from the netbook revolution in the late 2000s. Prior to that, and the creation of its Acer Aspire line, it’s fair to say the firm was significantly less visible as a consumer brand in the West – despite its long history in the technology market. Now it is the largest PC vendor in EMEA, sitting on a whopping 22 per cent


Acer. She told us: “Over the last six months I’ve been looking to find firms willing to join us in this joint business venture. “The two stores I’ve currently got signed up are PC Paramedics in Woking and Black Box in Preston. Those two stores have decided to go 100 per cent Acer, so it is the only computing brand in those stores – though the pre-requisite isn’t 100 per


“If you want to get quickly on the web and internet-ready access then possibly you’ll choose to boot up with Android. The recent Microsoft activity hasn’t changed our strategy in terms of OS. And in fact you'll see an increased number of


devices from Acer based on Android.” Bobby Watkins, Acer


market share, according to Gartner figures for Q3 2010. While netbooks have undoubtedly


provided a huge boost to the firm’s operation, Acer has aggressively colonised other areas, most noticeably the all-in-one PC, though it is also investing heavily in the emerging internet-enabled TV sector. However, many are predicting that


tablets are going to start seriously eroding the netbook market, which is still a major part of its business. Acer looks relatively bolstered against damaging and sudden market shifts with this diversification, and its most recent move has been to expand into the retail space with a network of own- branded stores. Tasked with heading up the project is Linda Hassall, retail account manager at


32 PCR November


cent, it’s about 50 per cent of the store needs to be Acer-focused. Over the past few months we’ve worked on a total refit and refurbishment, from knocking own walls to laying carpets to putting in Acer-branded displays. “Ongoing, we are looking to recruit


another 12 to14 major cities for the next year in the UK, in all the major connections, all the major towns, and really I’m going on a big recruitment drive now trying to get these independents signed up.”


NEW FRONTIERS Probably the most headline-grabbing example of Acer’s diversification is the mobile phone space. Like the rest of the industry, the firm is also investing in smartphones – though it’s not a term the firm uses itself.


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