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Acer expects significant growth in Chromebooks, gaming PCs

by on22 March 2017

Windows Mixed Reality headsets will also play a minor role

According to a recent report from top executives at Acer, the company expects to experience double-digit growth this year in the gaming PC and low-cost Chromebook markets, with most of the growth being generated from Chromebooks in particular.

The company currently offers the Chromebook CB5 series based on Intel Celeron dual-core chips and 2GB of RAM for $249, the Chromebook 14 series based on Intel Celeron quad-core chips and 4GB of RAM for $259, and the Chromebook CB3 series based on Intel Celeron dual-core chips and 2GB of RAM for $169. Other alternatives include the 11.6-inch Flip Convertible Chromebook based on Intel Celeron dual-core chips ant 4GB of RAM for $249.

Chromebook demand coming from Australia

This category of thin-client, Linux-based laptops is expected to give the company a boost as it takes on competition from ASUS, HP, Dell, Lenovo and others, though it currently manages to hold the most Chromebook product design wins for the year so far.

In particular, Acer says there is an increased demand for Chromebooks from Australia – a sign that the applications for Chromebooks have been expanding, and more markets are starting to show demand for the devices. According to company CEO Jason Chen, the North American market for these thin-client devices is at 30 to 35 percent, while in Europe and Australia it is around 50 percent.

The company also expects shipments of its gaming PCs to increase this year thanks to more stability in component prices over the past few months. In 2016, several market factors combined to have a significant impact on the global supply chain for NAND flash components, small and medium-sized color TFT panels, and premium panels using wide-angle IPS technology.

In other news, the number two executive at Acer’s EMEA regional department, Marco Wang-Adresen, is expected to leave the company after six years, in order to take the same spot at Lenovo at the beginning of next month.

Acer gaming PC products enter US military bases

In addition to the company’s existing online and retail channels, its gaming PC products have also begun to enter retail channels at US military bases worldwide. Over the past decade, the US Army has adopted a variety of games to simulate training environments in an effort to reduce infrastructure costs, lower time on a limited number of ranges, and shoot less ammunition. In 2015, the Army spent more than $27 million on virtual training devices, and the idea is that Acer and others can sell gaming PCs to perform training operations inside tighter timing restraints.

Since last summer, the company has been pushing its non-PC product lines aggressively as well, including its StarVR panoramic virtual reality headset featuring two 5.5-inch displays and a 210-degree field of view. The company also has a partnership with IMAX to establish fifteen VR experience centers worldwide, including two initial centers in Los Angeles and Manchester, UK.

While non-PC product lines account for a smaller portion of the company’s overall sales, it expects to make other devices such as its Windows Mixed Reality headset a priority when the first developer units ship later this month. The company will have several areas of growth to work with this year aside from Chromebooks and gaming PCs, so we can expect stock prices to change as component supplies pick up once again and more units begin shipping worldwide.

Last modified on 22 March 2017
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