Taipei, April 2 (CNA) Taiwan's Acer Inc. is well-poised to win back ground from its rivals this year and reclaim its spot as one of the world's top three PC makers, thanks to an aggressive push in promoting thin and light laptops, a Taipei-based analyst firm said Monday.
Among leading PC brands, Acer has posted a relatively better performance in notebook shipments recently after undergoing major adjustment in its operational strategy in 2011, according to a statement released by Digitimes Research.
The Taiwanese company has also aggressively expanded its product mix of ultra-thin notebooks this year, the statement said.
Shipments of worldwide notebook computers appeared to regain some momentum in March, as the hard drive disk supply returned to normal and Apple Inc.'s New iPad tablet launched last month seemed to have a limited impact on the notebook market, Digitimes added.
"If Acer's former CEO Gianfranco Lanci does not shake Acer's sales and relationships with distributors in Europe after he takes over the European operations at Lenovo Group in April, Acer will have a big chance to return to its position among the top three vendors," said Joanne Chien, senior research analyst at Digitimes Research.
The notebook market will benefit not only from the Ultrabook, a lightweight laptop promoted by chip-maker Intel, but also from slightly cheaper "ultra-like" notebooks priced between US$600 and US$1,000, which have been introduced by Acer this year, Chien said.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, Acer dropped out of its top three position for the same period a year earlier, ranking as the world's fourth largest PC maker with a 10.56 percent market share, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).
Acer trails behind Hewlett-Packard Co. (16.31 percent), Lenovo (14.04 percent) and Dell Inc. (12.91 percent), according to research firm International Data Corp, IDC said.
In addition to market and product development, Chien said that PC makers and their suppliers should not ignore the political risks related to their Chinese factories after the removal of Bo Xilai as party chief of Chongqing in southwestern China.
Chien suggested that the PC supply chain should move to the southwestern China area at a slower pace than before, given that the overall PC demand remains soft and the cost of China's labor force is rising fast.
(By Jeffrey Wu)