Acer rolls out the sports playbook, buys Xplova

Acer's acquisition of Xplova is a move to diversify and cultivate a sports-centric audience that today is owned by the likes of Garmin and Fitbit.


Acer, like multiple technology vendors, is increasingly seeing sports related hardware, software and services as its ticket to diversify and grow sales.

Along with a series of announcements covering laptops, desktops and smartphones, Acer said it is acquiring Xplova, which makes GPS computers for cycling. Acer announced the news at the IFA tech show in Berlin.

In a statement, Acer said it will integrate Xplova with its product and ultimately offer more sports gear. Wearables are being targeted by multiple consumer electronics companies, but the focused ones such as Fitbit have been holding their own. Apple Watch has had a decent ramp, but smartwatches and wearables are in flux. Will focused players like Garmin and Fitbit win the day or will the spoils go to companies trying to do a bit of everything.

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Acer may just fall into that latter category. Xplova provides smart cycling computers, route planning and community tools along with analytics. In the end, all end point devices will be tied into the Internet of things as a network linking everything from clothes to homes to people.

The bet for Acer is that it can further expand into sports hardware and services. Acer noted that it will "tap into China's huge cycling industry with cloud-enabled sports services."

Like other tech vendors such as IBM, SAP and others, Acer sees sporting events as a branding opportunity. Acer has participated as a technology provider for the 2010 Winter Olympic games as well as the 2012 Olympics.