(Adds company confirmation, analyst quotes)
By Sheena Lee
TAIPEI Feb 13 Taiwan's Acer Inc (2353.TW), the
world's No. 3 computer vendor, said on Wednesday it plans to
start selling low-cost PCs this year, following a recent strong
reception for similar models from competitors.
"Between the second and third quarters, we will have products
that address ultra mobility and low-cost segments," a spokeswoman
for Acer told Reuters, declining to give more details.
Acer, which previously said it had not planned to sell cheap
notebook computers, has changed course to develop PCs to target a
new customer base, the Chinese-language Commercial Times quoted
company Chairman J.T. Wang as saying.
The newspaper said Acer was still developing the new low-cost
model, which could be 7-9 inches wide, and could cost around
"I believe it's necessary for the company and they cannot let
go of such an opportunity since it's where the industry trend is
going," said Daiwa Institute of Research analyst Calvin Huang.
"It's still an unexplored area for Acer and they have the
resources and channels to sell such products. Acer will also not
be the last one -- we will see more firms coming out with similar
On Wednesday, shares of Acer ended 1.98 percent higher at
T$49.05, outperforming the benchmark TAIEX .TWII index's 0.04
Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc (2357.TW), a competitor to
Acer, launched its line of low-cost Eee PC laptops last year,
with a price tag of as little as $200.
Acer said the new computers would not cannibalise its current
business, as such models were aimed at low penetration markets
such as PCs for children and developing markets, the Commercial
Times said, echoing similar previous comments from Asustek.
Asustek has so far been successful in marketing and selling
its child-friendly Linux-based notebook globally, although profit
margins for the products are thin, analysts have said.
Acer competes closely with China's Lenovo (0992.HK) and
larger rivals Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) and Dell DELL.O.
On Monday, Acer posted a 77 percent surge in its fourth
quarter net profit and said it expects to ship 40 percent more
notebook PCs this year from 2007, while its overall PC shipments
would rise by 30 to 35 percent. [ID:nTP281267]
(Reporting by Sheena Lee; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)