Acer DesktopTough road ahead for Acer

Acer was riding pretty high back in the netbook era, sales of which helped the company post record revenue of $17.5 billion with net operating profit reaching $478.1 million in 2009. At the time, Acer predicted it would supplant Hewlett-Packard as the world’s No. 1 PC maker by 2012. Instead, Acer saw its CEO Gianfranco Lanci walk away after a disagreement with the board, and not long after, the PC maker posted its first quarterly loss. Fast forward to today and all eyes are on Acer’s new chief, Jason Chen.

Chen delivered his first press conference on Monday and according to Reuters, investors were disappointed that he spent more time talking about the company’s past mistakes than what its plans are for the future. As to the mistakes Acer made, Chen said Acer jumped the gun in investing in touch panels and ultrabooks rather than focusing on tablets.

“We wanted to stimulate demand using new technology and we took the initiative more aggressively than anybody else, to the point where we got hurt,” Chen said. “Hopefully we won’t repeat the same mistake we made before.”

Acer is now the world’s 4th largest PC maker, behind Dell, HP, and Lenovo (in that order), according to data by both IDC and Gartner. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Lenovo and Dell were the only two OEMs to post positive growth. Acer, meanwhile, saw its share of the PC market drop from 8.7 percent in Q4 2012 to Q4 2013.

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