Addressing a packed conference in Budapest, Acer chief executive Gianfranco Lanci claimed the vendor could dethrone current notebook king HP by 2011 if it hit annual growth of 35 per cent. It currently has 15.4 per cent market share, roughly level with Dell.
Lanci also set a 2011 revenue target of $30bn (£16.6bn), up by more than a half on the predicted haul for 2008.
Acer’s three-way merger with Packard Bell and Gateway last year had gone smoothly, Lanci claimed, adding that he is optimistic for the coming months despite the gloomy economic backdrop.
“We have been working for the last nine months [to merge the three organisations] and build up our strategy, and most of that migration is now complete. People told us acquisitions in this industry are never successful and in most cases you lose market share, but in our case one and one has made two, if not better.
“We still see strong demand for notebooks in EMEA and Asia, as well as the US, and I have not seen a deterioration in the last two weeks.”
Lanci said he expected the global notebook market to show growth of between 25 and 30 per cent in the next three years. Netbooks will be another growth hotspot, he added, with Acer forecasting that netbook shipments will surge from 10 million in 2008 to 25 million in 2009.
Acer also signalled it will introduce greater differentiation between its brands. In Europe, the Acer brand will be targeted at high-spending technical types, Packard Bell will be a ‘social recognition’ brand aimed at the hip and trendy, while eMachines will represent the value segment. Gateway will be Acer’s equivalent brand to Packard Bell for the US market.
The vendor faced some tough questions on whether a multi-brand strategy was the right way forward - no other top five PC vendor goes to market with more than one brand - but maintained it was the best way to address a market dominated by lower price points.
Lanci also assured partners that Acer would not turn to direct sales to boost its top line.
“The business model we decided on eight years ago was to be 100 per cent indirect. We still want to be and are not going to change our mind on that, even if other people have,” he said.
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