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Acer eyes 18% market share in UAE this year

Dubai: Acer is confident of increasing its market share in the UAE to 18 per cent this year with the new form factors, a senior company official told Gulf News.

“Every PC manufacturer is trying to create a wow product. The traditional PC market will decline slightly year-on-year, but there will be a boom in different form factors like tablets, hybrid devices [laptop-tablet combo], ultra-thin laptops and smartphones,” David Drummond, vice-president for Acer Middle East and Africa, said.

According to GfK, Acer has around 12 per cent market share in the PC business in the UAE. Acer is looking to introduce more competitive touch-based products to increase its market share. “Our strategy is to continue to drive market share in the region and Acer is always good in volume business,” Drummond said.

PC shipments in the UAE are expected to reach 1.84 million units this year compared to 2.04 million last year, a decline of 9.73 per cent, according to research firm International Data Corporation.

Global PC sales are projected to fall 6.1 per cent to 295.9 million this year from 315.1 million in 2013. PC shipments dropped 9.8 per cent last year.

On why all other PC manufacturers except Lenovo are bleeding money, Drummond said it is inevitable that some PC companies, which have made a lot of money in the past, bleed during a “period of transition”.

Touch and type experience

During this period, Drummond said there are many roads manufacturers can go down.

“I think one of the roads Acer went down was to put a huge focus on the Windows touch and type experience. This caused us to write down large volumes of inventory in the last 12 months,” he said.

On the positive side, he said the transition has given us one of the best products in the market. On the negative side, Microsoft’s Windows hasn’t taken off as expected.

At the moment, he said that the touch and type market is more limited until the cost becomes lower.

The PC business is still the biggest revenue earner for Acer at over 90 per cent despite the manufacturer venturing into tablets and smartphones.

“We have already taken steps in Saudi Arabia and it is showing results.

“In Egypt, we are taking it case by case at the moment. We are confident of doubling our business in Nigeria and Kenya this year,” he said.

Drummond added that despite the market stagnating for the next couple of years, there will still be some business taking place and that continues to be a sizeable market for PC manufacturers.