Acer, the world's third largest PC vendor, is taking aim at Japan this year as a key place to grow its booming business, the company chairman said.
The Taiwanese company plans to extend its business model of working closely and sharing profits with distributors to Japan, where companies such as Sony and Toshiba dominate the market, Acer chairman J.T. Wang told local media in Taipei. An Acer representative confirmed the statements.
Acer also plans to release new products in the second or third quarter of this year aimed at ultramobility and the low-cost segment of the PC market, Wang said.
The Acer representative declined to provide further details on what kind of devices the company may launch, but local media in Taiwan speculate that Acer is planning an ultra-low-cost laptop to compete against Asustek Computer's Eee PC.
Asustek created the Eee PC to sell in emerging markets such as China and India. It carries an Intel Celeron processor, weighs less than a kilogram, has a 7-inch LCD, and can connect to the Internet wirelessly. The lowest-priced version costs NT$7,999 ($248).
The Eee PC has garnered so much attention for Asustek, which forecast it will sell 3.8 million of the devices this year, that many of its fellow Taiwanese competitors are developing rival devices. Taiwan's Micro-Star International (MSI) has said it's working on an ultra-low-cost notebook that will use an extremely low-voltage, low-cost microprocessor from Intel called Diamondville. Intel has said it will formally unveil the new chip at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai this April.
Acer also believes its first-quarter sales will be far better than last year, despite global economic worries. Wang told local media that Acer's sales will rise 15 percent to 20 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, which ends March 31.