Acer sees second quarter better than expected
TOKYO (Reuters) - Taiwan's Acer (2353.TW) said its second quarter earnings will likely be better than its original estimates, helped by strong sales of its netbook PCs and a smooth launch of the latest notebook model with longer battery life.
Acer is the world's largest maker of netbooks PCs, which are smaller and cheaper than traditional notebook computers and designed for simpler computing tasks like Web browsing and email.
On top of the hot product, Acer last month unveiled its ultra-thin Aspire Timeline notebook series, which use Intel Corp's (INTC.O) new Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) chipsets and run 8 hours on a single charge.
"At the end of April we said, revenue-wise and profit-wise, it's going to be a little better than Q1, and our Q1 was reasonably acceptable," Acer Chairman J.T. Wang told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Tokyo on Friday.
"Today I think we should be able to do even better... Netbooks are selling very well, and as for Timeline, market response is so strong."
Wang said he personally expects Acer, the world's No.2 portable PC maker behind Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N), to sell 12 to 15 million netbooks this year although the company's conservative outlook is for its netbook sales to come to 10 to 12 million.
He also said Timeline is likely to sell up to 10 million units this year, and that Acer plans to offer the new notebook series for corporate clients in 2010 following this year's launch into the consumer market.
"We consider 2009 as a bad year for the commercial market. No matter what you do, corporate customers don't buy computers," Wang said.
"But we consider next year will be a good year for commercial. So We have to be ready to catch a growing opportunity."
Acer counts on brisk demand for Aspire One netbooks and Timeline series in order to achieve its target to usurp HP as the world's largest supplier of portable PCs by 2010.
Acer held a 17.7 percent share in the worldwide mobile PC market in 2008, behind HP's 20.9 percent, according to research firm Gartner.
On a recent analyst report that said a marriage of Acer and Dell Inc DELL.O, the No.3 portable PC maker, would be a smart deal, Wang said his company is not in talks with Dell and he is not warm to the idea.
"Acer would like to keep independent and solid operations by ourselves. We think that's the key success factor for our continuous growth," he said.
In a bid to recreate its runaway success in the mobile PC business, Acer entered the market for smartphones -- a mobile phone which offers advanced computer-like capabilities -- this year following the acquisition of Taiwan's portable device maker Eten Information Systems in 2008.
Netbook PCs and smartphones are two of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak electronics industry.
(Additional reporting by Kei Okamura; Editing by Hans Peters)
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