Acer CEO: Biggest mistake investing too early in ultrabooks, touchscreen

Acer CEO: Biggest mistake investing too early in ultrabooks, touchscreen

Summary: In his first press conference as CEO, Jason Chen said Acer's slump was due to it taking the initiative more aggressively than anyone else to stimulate demand for new technology.

TOPICS: PCs, Cloud, Hardware

Taiwanese PC maker Acer will be pitching a "Build Your Own Cloud" product to revive the company's fortunes, according to its new CEO Jason Chen, in a Bloomberg report.

"We need to dig ourselves out of a hole," Chen told reporters at the company's headquarters, in his first press conference since taking over the top job on January 1. Acer is set to post its third consecutive annual loss, on the back of a worst than expected Q3 loss of T$13.12 billion (US$446 million) for June to September.

Chen said Acer's biggest was that it had invested too early in touch-panels and ultrabooks, underestimating the threat from tablets in disrupting the PC industry. The Taiwanese company was the hardest hit major PC vendor in Q4 2013 when sales dropped 21.4 percent on year, according to IDC data.

"We wanted to stimulate demand using new technology and we took the initiative more aggressively than anybody else, to the point where we got hurt," Chen said, according to Reuters. "Hopefully we won't repeat the same mistake we made before."

Banking on Build Your Own Cloud service

Acer will be falling back on its existing harware and software competencies to turn the company around, according to the CEO. More details on its new business model will be unveiled on April 1, when notebooks will be released with Acer's upcoming Build Your Own Cloud service, he added.

"We need to find how to add value to hardware with mail, photo, video and other things we haven't even seen yet," Chen said in the Bloomberg report.

Topics: PCs, Cloud, Hardware


Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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  • Destined to repeat mistakes...

    ..if that is their analytical conclusion. They didn't do well because most of the products they built were sub par in quality, or missed the mark in critical areas. Bottom line, they need to build better products. The Acer Aspire S7 is oh so close to being a wonderful product, but just misses the mark enough to deter people from buying it.

    Think about it this way. Apple builds a nice quality laptop in the MacBook Pro and Air series. Not perfect, but hit on enough of the features people care about that they can sell. They feel like quality products. Right now, Apple builds the nicest PC available and many PC users are buying them, erasing them and installing windows on them.

    Where is the equivalent PC from real PC vendors? Build it, and you can change your fortunes.