Acer slashes tablet forecast, banks on notebooks
Game of executive musical chairs ongoing too
Acer today cut its 2011 tablet PC shipment forecasts by 60 per cent, but predicted a gradual recovery in its traditional notebook stomping ground.
According to reports, Chairman and CEO JT Wang told shareholders at a meeting in Taiwan that he expects tablet sales of 2.5 to three million units for the full year, down from previous estimates of five to seven million.
The firm - which fired CEO Gianfranco Lanci in March due to a boardroom bust over future direction, and is currently trying to clear a mountain of inventory in Europe - reckons second quarter sales will fall less than 10 per cent sequentially.
"The third quarter will be considerably stable. It will be similar to the second quarter or better," said Wang. "The fourth quarter will be even better."
At the same meeting shareholders approved cutting staff sales bonuses for 2010 by 40 per cent to NT$900m, a proposal made some weeks ago when Acer made public the decision to write-down three million aged laptops at a cost of $150m, plans to cut bonuses and 300 jobs.
Many of the redundancies will be contractors or duplicated roles arising from the takeover of Packard Bell (PB), industry sources claimed.
It is also understood that the Taiwanese PC maker is putting forward a divisional rejig, operating three divisions: consumer, professional and Touch.
Currently there is a Smartphone unit, a professional arm split into volume and value, and a consumer business including desktops, notebooks and tablets.
Tablets will be removed from the consumer division and sold alongside Smartphones under Touch, to be headed up Massimo D'Angelo, EMEA veep. Current Smartphone boss and former PB CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing is leaving the business, sources told El Reg.
Corporate veep of marketing and brand and one-time managing direct at Acer UK Gianpiero Morbello is also leaving the business, with Acer's head of Olympic Sponsorship Anton Mitsyuk taking over the role.
The heads for the professional and consumer units have not yet been confirmed, but the exec shake-up at the business is certainly not yet over. ®
Why do these big companies decide that what's really wrong with them is that product 'A' isn't in business unit 'B' instead of finding out why they aren't making products that the customers want to buy. So massive amounts are spent on moving offices, new stationery and business cards, and all the rest of corporate flummery that takes the place of actually doing something.
because sometimes that really is the problem
Different markets are different, have different priorities and require a different approach. Apple demonstrated with the iPad that successful tablets are more like big smartphones than they are like crippled notebooks.
There's a reason why a firm like Dell which has been very successful in the notebook market has never made headway in handsets or tablets, while firms like HTC have been successful in handsets but not really in notebooks.
Apple are successful in both but they maintain two different proprietary OSes so they keep the two businesses mostly separate, though they share a design team for the physical devices. But then that design team is itself unique within the CE industry.
Not every corporate reorganization is a success of course, maybe even not most - but it seems clear that the way Acer was going wasn't working, and given how fast the tablet and smartphone markets are growing this is a sector they really really want to break into.
Seven Inches, Please :)
Why are these tablet makers ignoring the seven inch category? Big enough to be practical, small enough to fit in a pocket. These ten inchers look pretty but you can't carry them everywhere.
Not quite ready to kill the iPad then?
I would have the Acer tablet... but
locked boot loaders
Time for heads to role.
I'd love to buy the A500 despite the cheap LCD but dont mess with my hardware like that.