Taipei: Acer Inc., the world’s third-largest computer company, said it will overtake Dell as the second- biggest laptop maker this year by selling new models in the US, its fastest-growing market.
Rs.We are quite optimistic about the US’ Acer President Gianfranco Lanci said in an interview from his Milan office. Rs.We are going to replace the entire product line’’ within three months.
Lanci aims to repeat his success in Europe, where he steered Acer to become the second-largest computer maker by building ties with retailers and distributors. The expansion comes after Dell last month said it may change its direct-sales strategy because the US company lost market share for three straight quarters.
Rs.The company’s US business seems to be picking up good momentum,’’ said Jill Huang, who rates Acer Rs.buy’ in coverage for Yuanta Core Pacific Securities Co. in Taipei. Rs.Acer has been quite quick in responding to changes in the markets.’
Worldwide shipments of notebook computers increased by 25% in 2006, the fourth straight year that growth exceeded by 20%, as consumers switched to portable computers with wireless Internet capabilities. Desktop computer shipments gained by 1.5%, according to Merrill Lynch & Co.
Dell lost market share to Acer and leader Hewlett-Packard Co. after US customers complained of poor after-sales service and spurned its notebook designs. The company has since created a website called IdeaStorm to solicit ideas from customers.
Francis Huan, Singapore-based spokesman for Dell, declined to comment on the company’s market share and notebook sales.
Acer, based in Taipei, was the world’s third-largest supplier of notebooks in the first quarter after shipments grew by 51% from a year earlier. Its market share is 12.6%, behind Dell’s 13.8% and Hewlett-Packard’s 20.9%, according to research firm IDC Corp.
The company is pinning its hopes on a new product line released last week in Taipei, which Lanci describes as Rs.very rounded, very soft,’ and a strategy that uses distributors and retailers to sell its computers to consumers. Dell sells direct to customers, bypassing retailers.
Rs.Six or seven years ago most of the people were talking about direct business model and thinking only a direct business model could win,’ Lanci said. Rs.We have shown big success, a lot of people have started to reconsider the potential of indirect.’
Dell founder Michael Dell told employees in an e-mail last month that Rs.the direct model has been a revolution, but is not a religion,’’ signaling the 23-year-old company may sell PCs through retail outlets, joining Acer and Hewlett-Packard.
Rs.We are not particularly concerned’’ about Dell’s entry into retail sales, Lanci said. Rs.Retail is very competitive, you need to set certain price points.’’
As part of its expansion strategy, Acer is in talks with ‘two or three potential targets’ for an acquisition, Lanci said, without providing details. Chairman J.T. Wang told investors on 27 April it expects to announce a deal within three months.