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Acer plans renewed effort to drag up PC prices

Calling Mr K Canute

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Acer will stick with its policy of pushing up average selling prices for its hardware, despite failing to put a floor under prices so far this year.

However, the Taiwanese vendor admitted that at best it would only be able to push up prices on an aggregate level, by launching more products at the high end.

The vendor spelled out its plans to push up prices earlier this year, on the back of a year long effort to increase its market share.

Last week, it admitted that the laws of PC gravity – that prices only ever move in a downward direction – had so far remained unchanged.

Semmy Levit, UK country manager, told El Reg that two factors had combined to undermine ASPs this year. A slip in components prices in the industry had brought overall prices down. At the same time, Microsoft’s failure to set the world aflame with Vista had left PC salesfolk at the likes of PC World twiddling their thumbs (Ed. what, even more than usual?)

That said, Levit insisted Acer had not been hit as hard as other vendors. "[Our] ASP went down not so much, so our performance was better than the market."

He said the vendor would continue to try and push ASPs up next year. The trick would be to continue extending its product range to hit as many price points as possible, rather than increasing price points per se.

Presumably Acer will also be hoping its recent purchase of Gateway, and, by proxy, Packard Bell, will help in this effort. The buy positions Acer as the third biggest PC vendor in the world, which should give it at least a touch more leverage with its suppliers.

The company will also use its extended portfolio of brands to help it segment its product line. In Europe it will use the Acer and Packard Bell brands.

Presumably, Acer will be positioned as the mid to higher priced brand – if only because positioning Packard Bell as a high-end brand would be like sticking a Ford Fiesta as a Jaguar compact. ®

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