Acer announced that they’d be posting another loss, following last quarter’s $250m one, and warned they were unlikely to get back into the black by the end of the year. The good news? They only lost around $36m. Things are coming up roses!
In truth, it really is a big improvement, and the losses are smaller than expected. Acer announced earlier this year that not only were they going to take a hit while doing inventory reduction (units they’d have to sell for less than expected), but that essentially their entire business model needed revision.
Although Acer’s sales actually saw ~15% growth over last quarter, they’re still 30% below what they were a year ago. But Acer’s humility and acknowledgement of the problem (they cite the iPad and Fire as major competitors in the low-end notebook space, a fact they were once unwilling to acknowledge) are reassuring. It’s a hell of a big company and they’re not doing well — they admit that — but they’re getting better and hopefully will come out the other end of this stronger.
As for this year, hopes are pinned on the Aspire S3 ultrabook, a slim and powerful machine with a reasonable price that they’re hoping will attract buyers away from MacBook Airs and perhaps inspire budget buyers to take their laptop up a notch. We definitely enjoyed the laptop, but it too will face fierce competition from the Air and other ultrabooks.