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Acer to continue netbook business

2011/11/28 20:24:23

Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) Taiwan's Acer Inc. will stick to its netbook PC products, although rival Samsung Electronics Co. is reportedly quitting the business in early 2012, a top Acer executive said Monday.

On Nov. 25, French website Blogeee quoted an email sent by Samsung to its trading partners, saying that the South Korean company will discontinue its 10.1-inch netbook product range in the first quarter of 2012 following the introduction of its new strategy for the coming year that will see the company switching its focus to ultra-portable products sized 11.6 inches and 12 inches, as well as Intel Corp.'s Ultrabooks.

But Scott Lin, corporate vice president and president of Acer's Taiwan operations, said Acer will hold on to the netbook business based on demand in emerging markets.

"There is still demand for netbooks in developing countries such as Indonesia and India, where netbooks have become critical tools among students for information education," Lin told reporters on the sidelines of the company's marketing event for Taiwan's IT Month show.

"Acer will absolutely keep making netbooks, and we expect that Intel will release the next version of its netbook CPU as early as February next year," Lin said.

"Some brands might decide to quit the business because they lack economic scale, so the future netbook market is expected to be led by two major players -- Acer and Asustek Computer Inc.," he said.

Sales of netbooks, which are lighter and cheaper than regular notebooks, accounted for 18 percent to 20 percent of Acer's total notebook shipments for the first three quarters of 2011, higher than the industry average of between 11 percent and 12 percent, according to Lin.

Meanwhile, Acer plans to increase its netbook prices slightly to reflect the rising costs of hard drives in the wake of the flooding in Thailand that disrupted the hard drive supply chain there, Lin added.

(By Jeffrey Wu)