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Acer aims for tablet shipment hike in first quarter

2013/03/19 21:50:19

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Acer Inc. forecast Tuesday that its tablet computer shipments will grow 2.6 to 3 times sequentially in the current quarter, thanks to strong demand for low-cost new models.

The Taipei-based computer maker expects its low-cost tablets, such as the Iconia B1, to account for 70 to 75 percent of its total tablet shipments in the quarter ending March, Acer Corporate President Jim Wong said during an investor conference call.

For the whole of 2013, Acer has set its initial tablet shipment target at 5 million units, but aims to push the volume to 10 million, Wong added.

"We will have not only the Android but also the Windows tablets," he said. "There are a lot of things about them that we consider as innovations," he added.

J.T. Wang, Acer chairman and chief executive officer, said during the call that his company will introduce a full range of new tablets by the second half of this year as part of Acer's aggressive targeting in this category.

The two executives made the remarks after successful sales of the Acer Iconia B1 -- which costs less than US$150 -- as the company's latest foray into the affordable tablet market.

The 7-inch Iconia B1, featuring a 1.2 GHz dual-core microprocessor from MediaTek Inc., is expected to account for 15 to 20 percent of Acer's full-year tablet shipments, as long as key components such as touchscreens do not face shortages, Acer said.

The company noted that it will launch tablets with 8-inch and 10-inch screens by the third quarter of this year, which are likely to start from about NT$6,000 (US$202) and NT$7,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, Acer estimates that its 2013 shipments of personal computers -- including desktops, notebooks and netbooks -- will be flat compared with last year's shipment or will grow at a single-digit rate in anticipation of better demand in the back-to-school season.

In terms of the penetration rate of its touch-enabled notebooks, Acer expects the share to rise from 8 percent of its total notebook shipments in the fourth quarter of last year to 15 percent in the first quarter and to between 30 and 35 percent by the end of this year.

(By Jeffrey Wu)