Acer’s move to tablets has been quite successful. They have a slew of lower cost devices that many find attractive, if for nothing more than the price point itself. Acer, however, was a PC cornerstone. That market has since slipped into a spiral, leaving Acer to pick up its pieces. They appear to be on the right path, but not in the clear just yet.
Even with the move towards mobile, Acer is not having an easy time. They recently wrote off tons of material — literally — in a move to get back to solvency. The raw material was jettisoned to make way for a new tomorrow, and to increase the timeframe of their “corporate transformation”. The write-off totaled about $400 million.
A vendor tells Channel Register “This latest write-off will help optimise the company's operational management. Taking immediate action, Acer will formulate its product strategy with more caution and implement precise production planning and inventory control”. This is nothing new to Acer, though; they did this very same thing in 2011, reacting to a market slowdown. Now, they’re faced with a radical transformation, but they don’t have to lose their identity in the process.
Their tablets are nice, but Acer is making a big name for themselves in Chromebooks as well. Their recent lineup of Chromebooks has made a big impact, and brings a very PC feel to a non-PC — in a good way. Their recent touchscreen Chromebook answered the biggest knock on Chrome OS since the release of the Pixel, bringing a touch enabled Chromebook at an affordable price-point.
At this point, it seems Acer is still trying to grasp their current position. PR agents says “We need to dig ourselves out of this hole through operational excellence”, though they don’t quite detail how that’s going to happen. With revenues down nearly 15% compared to last year, Acer has little time to wonder. Hopefully, their current avenue of lower cost, well built devices for mobile enthusiasts will be their saving grace.