TAIWANESE COMPUTER MAKER Acer will expand its range of Android powered mobile devices and Chromebooks, focusing less on Windows 8 products due to disappointing shipments in the PC market and growing demand for tablets.
"We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible," Acer president Jim Wong told investors in a conference call yesterday. "Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets."
He added, "I also see a new market there for Chromebooks."
The news isn't surprising, considering the company's rather dire second quarter shipment figures for PC and laptop devices running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.
Shifting 1.3 million PCs in the second quarter compared to the 2.36 million PCs it shipped in the same quarter last year, Acer saw shipments plunge by 44.7 percent year over year, Gartner's latest report revealed.
The firm's focus on the Android tablet market also make sense given the latest IDC tablet sales figures for the firm, which revealed that Acer's tablet sales were up from 0.4 million to 1.4 million in the second quarter.
In May Acer's director for Northern Europe Simon Turner told The INQUIRER that "the Windows 8 transition has been disappointing to everyone in the industry".
When asked why the operating system wasn't well received, Turner said that many other hardware brands had a lot of Windows 7 devices hanging around when Windows 8 launched, which didn't help sales because it contributed to confusion among consumers.
The Taiwanese firm has tried all sorts of ways to promote sales, including the involvement of celebrity brand ambassadors such as Megan Fox and DJ Tiesto, and product placements in the new Star Trek movie, but to no avail. However, a focus on Android powered devices, which seem to be one of few growth areas for the firm, might give Acer the sales boost it's looking for. µ
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