It's Not About PC; Acer Bets Big On Connected Devices

by Sandhya Malhotra    Jul 21, 2015

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Computer major Acer is planning to increase its Indian PC market share to 12.5 per cent by the end of this year and expand its retail presence by adding 100 more stores. 

The last four-five years have been a complete turnaround period for Acer after the slowdown hit the European markets. Nevertheless, with a new range of consumer devices centered around PC and notebooks, the company is looking confident to make a comeback and start afresh with a market-share of 15%.

A company senior spokesperson said Acer is no longer a pureplay PC player. Now its consumer approach is all about connected devices. It has invested in products like Skype certification, precision touch-pad, curved monitors and many more feature rich products.

Last week, Acer launched a number of devices in India, from laptops and all-in-one PCs, to gaming monitors and curved monitors. The devices launched include Acer Aspire E5 Series, Aspire V Nitro notebook, Aspire V3 Series, Aspire Z Series AIO, Aspire Switch 12 series 2-in-1 Notebook (seen above), XB240H gaming TFT monitor, and the XR341CKA curved monitor with Nvidia G-Sync technology. Acer’s all notebooks and all-in-one devices run on Windows 8.1 and will be upgraded to Windows 10 in future.

When asked how the company is looking to revamp the consumer business, Acer India Chief Marketing Officer S Rajendran said, “We have to be conscious of the reality now. Acer globally went through a transition, when the European market tanked in 2009-10, we were affected more than others because our dependency on these two geographies was more than 70%. It tanked big time and hurt us.

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This year, we have re-positioned ourselves so that we are no longer just a PC player, but a connected device maker. We did turnaround engineering business in November 2013, and 2014 was a transition period. In 2014, we turned around the corner with profitable business and growth. Now we are definitely looking for a strong come back and market-share.”

Acer has a marketshare of 10-12% in the PC market. While in specific verticals like Government and BFSI, Acer still rules the roost. In Q1, 23 PSUs like Vijaya Bank, SBI came out with the tenders, of which 19 of the orders were won by Acer India.

“When the slowdown happened world-wide it had implications in India too. At that point our range of products for the customers was not in sync with the customer requirement like thin light devices, detachable devices and gaming devices. We were continuing the momentum of conventional devices. In 2014, we reinvented our consumer business, now market after market, we are seeing good uptake including in India. We are expecting 2016 will be a strong year for the consumer. In commercial business, we are there but we are not complacent, we still need to fight and win. With new range of products compared to last quarter, we have seen good growth,” informed Rajendran.

The other big bet for Acer is its BYOC, a strong cloud solution, while it is meant for consumer to enjoy digital assets across the heterogeneity of devices. In Taiwan, there are PoC happening in the enterprise using BYOC in healthcare. Moreover, Acer is also reinventing for the world of IoT. Back home, the company feels the IT penetration is pathetically slow and low, 8 million devices in a year for 1.2 billion population, of which 54% is that of youth. There are huge potential there for player like Acer and other factor is government’s focus in providing citizen-friendly services.

The company’s GTM has different channels to reach the markets in smaller towns. In top cities, it has 150 Acer branded stores, as well as LFRs. The company is also present online in a very calculated manner.

“Online channel has a very disruptive behavior practices, which we can’t control. We use online for product announcement and launch and then move to offline. In coming time, we are looking to have a separate SKUs for online and offline,” he said.