Acer’s Ultrabook ‘Mistake.’

Posted on 14 January 2014 by

Acer Aspire S3 2014 (3)

In a report by Bloomberg the Acer CEO is said to have blamed early Ultrabook and touchscreen investments as a mistake. Acer had problems in 2013 as share value dropped following poor sales results. “We need to dig ourselves out of a hole.” Jason Chen said.

This is a story that will bounce around a bit today.

Acer was one of the first companies to release an Ultrabook in 2011. The Aspire S3 was the first Ultrabook we reviewed and although it was an honest Ultrabook, it wasn’t a great one. I remember, too, sitting in front of the Acer S5 as it was launched and thinking, no, people don’t need a motorized port panel. The S7 was also a strange product and had too much emphasis on fashion rather than function.  Are Acer blaming the Ultrabook market when they should be blaming sub-par products we wonder.

"Acer invested too early in the two sectors, leading to its challenges since then" said Chen indicating that they didn’t get the results they were expecting.

The Ultrabook market didn’t perform as well as Intel had predicted so of course, if you’ve planned your investment based on those sales figures and an improved market share then you’re in trouble, especially if the products don’t impress people as much as they could have.

Despite problems and shortfalls, the Ultrabook project has done what needed to be done. The laptop industry was getting boring and needed a refresh in terms of production methods, features and style and without it the situation could be even worse. What Acer, and all the OEMs need to do now is to take the lessons learnt over the last 3 years and to apply that to their notebook strategy in the future. One of those lessons would be that there’s no way to stimulate the notebook market back to growth and that investment in that area might have to be scaled back as new markets for PC technology are explored.

Related: Ultrabook 2014 thoughts.

Source: Bloomberg.

Categorized | Opinion

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  • Matt

    Maybe if Acer didn’t dig themselves so deep into the whole crappy cheap notebook category then maybe there would have been less people who automatically thought an Acer ultrabook would be crap too and stayed away.

    Also, their ultrabooks weren’t even that great. Even the generations after the first one weren’t that good compared to their competitors. I think Acer should blame themselves, not the ultrabook category.

  • John Auric

    I agree with Matt. Acer notebooks do tend to stand out as a bit crap. They look and feel awful compared to the competition. Maybe hiring a half decent designer rather than using the design language of the SsangYong Rodius would help sales.

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  • Mr.Chainsaw

    Their mistake was to do the same shit everyone did. I would totaly have bought their 11″ S7 if it had had the thunderbolt they said before release and a matte screen. But no… we have to do the glossy shit like 10000 other notebooks.

    Also Acer did have very good and sturdy laptops in the past, but in the stores, at least in germany, only the crappy ones were sold.

  • beomagi

    If you’ve got a crappy keyboard and mouse, people would hate it. If your screen darkens too much when off power, people would hate it. If your battery life is not competitive, and you need to add a plug in battery for reasonable life, people aren’t going to like it.

    It’s a short formula.
    – Good screen that stays bright
    – Decent none-glitchy inputs
    – No frills case with enough of a battery life
    – Enough processing power

    I think Acer tries too hard to differentiate themselves, and that comes back to bite them. I think their last serious no frills laptop was the Timeline series, and they did fairly well.

    I love the W510 design though. Too bad it had to carry that CPU.

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