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Acer is back with cheap PCs

Aug 21,2009
Taiwan-based Acer, the world’s third-largest PC manufacturer, is moving back into the Korean market after an eight-year hiatus, determined to grab market share here despite the dominance of Samsung and LG.

The company will begin selling five types of computers in early September. The products include two notebook PCs, the Aspire Timeline 3810T and the 1810T; two netbooks, the One D250 and the 751h; and one nettop (mini desktop), the AspireRevo R3610.

Bob Sen, managing director of Acer Japan and Acer Northeast Asia, said the company is highly committed to penetrating the Korean market.

“Korea is a ‘must’ market for Acer,” he said during a launching event yesterday at Seoul Plaza Hotel in central Seoul. “The Korean market is very unique - local vendors Samsung and LG occupy 60 percent of it.”

Acer first launched its products in Korea in 1995 but backed out six years later, saying its customer service system - including help provided to consumers after the purchase - could not compete with local makers including Samsung.

Founded in 1976 under the name Multitech, it was only in 2000 that the company spun off its manufacturing business under Wistron Corp. and started its branding business. In 2001, it adopted a new corporate identity and launched its PC brand, Acer Aspire. The company grew exponentially, boosting revenue from $3.1 billion in 2002 to $16.65 billion last year.

Aside from ranking as the No. 3 PC vender in the world, it is first in the global netbook market and second in the notebook PC market.

The company’s strategy in Korea this time around is to focus on price competitiveness and low overhead expenses, top executives said yesterday.

“We are keeping very low overhead in sharing our profit with partner companies,” Sen said. All products, including notebook PCs, retail for less than $1 million won ($802).

The new notebook PCs are light and ultra-thin - the Aspire Timeline 3810T is 0.92 inches thick while the Aspire Timeline 1810T is 1.35 kilograms (3 pounds) - and both include LED backlighting and low-voltage Intel Centrino 2 processors. The notebooks also provide up to eight hours of battery life on a single charge, the longest in the industry, according to Lee Hee-won, manager of the Korean market at Acer Japan.

One of the company’s core products is the netbook. Its global netbook market share exceeds 30 percent at present. Acer’s new Aspire One models are around 1 inch thick and have 7.5 hours of battery life as well as a webcam and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, among other features.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]





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