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Acer seized second place in worldwide computer sales in 2009, thanks, in part, to strong sales of its Acer Aspire One netbook.  (Source:
Taiwanese company says American vendors can't keep up with aggressive pricing

Hewlett Packard, the world's largest computer maker, and Dell, third place in world sales, are powerful players.  However, both -- especially Dell – suffered during the recession.  Meanwhile Taiwanese OEMs ASUSTek and Acer, whose sales were heavily comprised of low-priced netbooks (the Eee PC and Aspire One, respectively), posted impressive growth.

Acer founder Stan Shih, who helped grow his company into Taiwan's top computer-maker, said this differential response is merely a sign of trouble to come for American companies.

He is quoted by Taipei-based Commercial Times as saying, "The trend for low-priced computers will last for the coming years.  But US computer makers just don't know how to put such products on the market... US computer brands may disappear over the next 20 years, just like what happened to US television brands."

Acer's talk may sound like the same kind of tired corporate rhetoric that executives often spout off.  However, one must consider Acer's impressive performance -- in 2009 the company passed Dell to become the world's second largest computer maker, and according to Digitimes, it is projected to in 2011 pass HP to become the world's top computer maker.  That progress has been heavily driven by aggressively priced PCs, especially netbooks.

One odd man out is Apple, Inc.  Apple, a U.S. firm based out of Cupertino, California, traditionally prices its notebooks well above even HP or Dell, let alone the Taiwanese.  However, it continues to grow and gain marketshare, perhaps proving that Acer's prediction of the American computer maker's demise premature.

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Quality vs quantity
By jonmcc33 on 1/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Quality vs quantity
By Brandon Hill on 1/19/2010 9:55:19 AM , Rating: 5
Acer's sale numbers from last year would suggest that you don't have enough friends ;-)

That being said, I bought my wife an Acer Aspire One last year because it's cheap and it gets the job done. Hell, all she does is use it for Facebook, email, and everyday web surfing.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Falacer on 1/19/2010 10:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Which is what the Acer Aspire One is designed for and persons whom they are targeting. If you need more power on the go then there are other choices but for something simple, very lightweight and portable can't beat an Acer with WinXP for value.

I dont like the ones with Win7 on them because their battery life is far less than those with WinXP. That being said my wife is getting one for her birthday next month to replace our 7 year old bulky laptop.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By lelias2k on 1/19/2010 10:33:53 AM , Rating: 1
I was thinking about replacing my XP with Linux. Any good tips or resources?

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Marlonsm on 1/19/2010 11:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Mint get the job done in netbooks and are really good.
I usually suggest Linux Mint for starters as it's very functional and easy to set up (basically put in the CD, reboot, click install, next, next, and it's ready to go).
Just take some minutes to learn it...
This site has a good list of compatible netbooks, it's for Ubuntu, but for Mint it's basically the same:

If you buy a netbook with another Linux distro, I highly recommend switching.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Taft12 on 1/19/2010 11:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
Ubuntu Netbook Remix

It's already stripped down to run well on a netbook with a pretty good interface for launching Firefox, IM client, etc. No real Linux knowledge required and will run faster than XP

RE: Quality vs quantity
By drzoo2 on 1/19/2010 12:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
I second this although I would suggest sticking with the Jaunty version of UNR. Jaunty seems much more stable and usable than Karmic. I recently installed UNR on a clients machine that had a hosed XP install and could not produce the restore disk. This was a Dell mini9 which didn't seem to have a restore partition since it was only an 8GB model. The Jaunty version is an image that will install on a thumbdrive eliminated an external CDROM. At least on the Mini9 everything worked right out of the box. Very nice distro, specially compared to the crap Asus was shipping.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Marlonsm on 1/19/2010 4:03:16 PM , Rating: 1
A good experience in Karmic seems to be a hit or miss, it either works very well or doesn't work at all.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By TheRequiem on 1/19/2010 2:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not entirely correct, while their sales figures are impressive, there will also be a differentiated market for different PC manufacturers. HP and Dell make quality products for entertainment ideal consumers and corporate businesses, they sale millions of PC's. They will win out for a very long time in those segments. I very much doubt this presumed theory that netbooks will rule the world, all it's doing is opening up a new low-end and portable segment that wasn't always there... other people will still want more and will pay more. This article doesn't make sense.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By jonmcc33 on 1/20/2010 8:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
That being said, I bought my wife an Acer Aspire One last year

Thanks for proving my point. ;-)

RE: Quality vs quantity
By inperfectdarkness on 1/21/2010 10:40:30 AM , Rating: 2
technically, shouldn't CLEVO be listed as #1?

RE: Quality vs quantity
By inperfectdarkness on 1/21/2010 10:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
or at least Compal?

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Leper Messiah on 1/19/2010 10:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately America is not the only computer market in the world.

Acer's quality is real hit or miss though. I don't see how they're going to stay on the top of the game for very long until they improve that.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By putergeek00 on 1/19/2010 12:00:41 PM , Rating: 4
Acer's quality is real hit or miss though.

Every company has hit or miss quality. After working for several different companies and each company having different PC vendors the only thing that is certain is they all have their little quirks. Nothing is perfect.

I don't see how they're going to stay on the top of the game for very long until they improve that.

Judging by how hard and fast they have been climbing the ladder they would have leveled off by now.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By tmgp on 1/19/2010 10:08:12 AM , Rating: 4
the world doesn't want quality products. the market demands cheap products.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By bupkus on 1/19/2010 1:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
The manufacturer needs to make them cheap.

It's up to marketing to make them sell.
Recall: sell em the sizzle, not the steak?

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Solandri on 1/19/2010 1:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
That's the conclusion I came to too for my computer purchases. Mind you, normally I'm willing to pay a premium for quality. But computer technology advances so quickly that within a half year something better is on the market, and within 1.5 years, I'm looking to upgrade again.

So it makes more sense for me to buy a cheap computer every 18 months or when problems develop, than to buy an expensive quality computer and use it for 36 months. For a while I was doing things like upgrading CPUs. But even the motherboard format cycle has shortened and frequently the motherboard I bought is obsolete by the time I'm looking to upgrade CPUs.

On the flip side, a friend got a Thinkpad T40 in 2004 to use for work, and it's still going strong. But she uses it mostly for email, Word, and web browsing. I would imagine a $250 netbook could handle those tasks more quickly than the T40.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By jonmcc33 on 1/20/2010 9:00:07 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't about cheap vs expensive. It's about quality vs quantity. You can still have quality at an inexpensive price. Pay attention next time.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By inighthawki on 1/19/2010 10:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
I have an acer notebook, pretty low end too, but i'm incredibly pleased with it. It has NEVER been broken, it has NEVER had a hardware problem, and I've had it for about 4 years now. Sure the hardware is becoming quite dated, and the intel graphics is a major downside for what i do, but i got it for a great price and it works. I also know other people with Acer notebooks and they are all fairly pleased. So please don't make horrible assumptions that a lower price tag immediately means it's a pile of shit.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Taft12 on 1/19/2010 11:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
Your anecdote does not disprove those "horrible assumptions". Their reputation in the industry is well earned.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By frobizzle on 1/19/2010 11:56:06 AM , Rating: 2
I have an acer notebook, pretty low end too, but i'm incredibly pleased with it. It has NEVER been broken, it has NEVER had a hardware problem,

It's a good thing for you that it has never had a problem as Acer's (so-called) customer service is hands-down, the WORST! They even make Dell's CS look good and that isn't easy to do.

To Acer, I say phuh que!

RE: Quality vs quantity
By jonmcc33 on 1/20/2010 9:01:56 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't say that Acer's products are a pile of shit.

I said that just because Acer sells a lot of netbooks doesn't mean that they rule in the desktop and laptop department.

Pay attention next time.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By Jedi2155 on 1/19/2010 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 1
Keep in mind that Acer probably has a few popular side brands.

The popular Gateway FX gaming laptops for example, is from Acer as they own Gateway and eMachines.

RE: Quality vs quantity
By BZDTemp on 1/20/2010 3:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
From my experience I'd say Acer is on par if not better when we compare the cheap models from either companies. That is not saying Acer quality is great but more that the low end stuff from Dell & HP is nothing to celebrate.

The thing is with laptops as cheap as they are in the low end they have become a use and dispose product much more than they used to be. This means durability is less important since you can just buy a new for less than a service deal on the quality ones cost (and you get a hardware upgrade for free).

RE: Quality vs quantity
By jonmcc33 on 1/20/2010 9:13:13 AM , Rating: 3
This is about netbook sales vs laptop and desktop sales, not necessarily low product quality. I don't consider Acer to be a bad brand. I just consider netbooks to be cheaply put together and priced to move. That doesn't dictate control of the market.

It's similar to the fact that Intel has led the GPU market for years now when they haven't made a single AGP/PCI/PCIe graphics card. It's because their graphics chipset is used in most laptops and desktops for onboard graphics. That of course falls well behind add-on cards from ATi and nVIDIA in terms of performance and quality.

Acer can't compete in server area & revenue.
By mxnerd on 1/19/2010 9:56:25 AM , Rating: 5
Where is Acer's server product? One server price can easily outnumber 10+ netbooks.

And Taiwanese companies need to improve their customer service, dramatically.

RE: Acer can't compete in server area & revenue.
By Hieyeck on 1/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Acer can't compete in server area & revenue.
By Hieyeck on 1/19/10, Rating: -1
By ClownPuncher on 1/19/2010 1:13:19 PM , Rating: 4
So, I read the article twice, and still don't see your point.

The Acer exec is forecasting the demise of HP, Dell, etc..
The article was about computers, which, last time I checked, servers fell under that category. Not to mention that HP and Dell make a great deal of money from their server products. That means Acer does not compete with them in that market, so saying these companies will fail is really not taking the whole picture into account.

RE: Acer can't compete in server area & revenue.
By bupkus on 1/19/2010 1:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps they could contract their phone support to India?

By sigmatau on 1/19/2010 6:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be surprised how things have changed. Currently, some companies in the US OUTBID India for tech support contracts. I would know. I worked for one. Probably the worst year of my life. They paid us less than what you would get at a supermarket and they timed your breaks and yelled at you for being over 10 seconds. Ajilon is the company if anyone cares.

Highly doubt that will happen...
By masamasa on 1/19/2010 11:05:18 AM , Rating: 2
Highly doubt that will happen unless they improve on quality and customer service. It's the old saying, you get what you pay for and in the case of products from companies like Acer, Asus, and MSI, that couldn't be more true. I can't track how many defectives I've had from those companies because there have been so many. I don't buy from MSI, ASUS or Acer anymore as a result - too much hassle. As an example, I bought an Acer TV and had to go through 3 of them just to find one that didn't have 10+ dead pixels out of the box. MSI, out of the last 10 motherboards, 4 defective, and they weren't even from the same product line.

If they start putting out higher quality products and learn about what the NA market expects in terms of customer service prices are going to go up because the cost of doing business will. You can only reduce your operating costs so much if you're going to match quality of product and service. I doubt the NA market will buy into shoddy products at cheap prices. Everyone has bought questionable products at one time or another and probably has a horror story to go with them.

RE: Highly doubt that will happen...
By Lifted on 1/19/2010 3:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
Their model is focused towards the Asian market, where support is handled differently. Acer will do just fine with the Asia market alone considering almost 1/2 the population of the world is over there. The NA market is around 10% - 15% of that, so it's really of no major concern to them when looking at the big picture.

By chrnochime on 1/19/2010 5:31:47 PM , Rating: 1
Who would you rather buy an X58 board from, then? Last time I checked, The only company that "makes" an x58 motherboard that ISN'T Asian is EVGA, and even then, they weren't flawless either. Go read forums and newegg reviews on how the 141-BL-E757-TR board have memory problem or memory slots DOA.

And about the "You get what you pay for"? I'm sure someone out there's ready and eager to sell you an overpriced POS.

By eddieroolz on 1/20/2010 1:24:33 AM , Rating: 3
HP dv4-1117ca user here.

Reading the comments, I couldn't help but notice the massive hypocrisy many members demonstrate in their comments.

Many want Acer to built better products before hoping to become #1 in PC sales. But HP and Dell aren't at top because of quality. They both use cheap, subpar parts to built their machine, much like Acer. HP and Dell both outsource their calls to India (I experienced one a while back with HP), perhaps much like Acer. HP and Dell both buy parts from various manufacturers like ASUS, much like what Acer does.

Similarly, it amuses me to see people have old stereotypes regarding Asian corporations. Heads up, HP/Dell have similar failure rates to Acer/ASUS/MSI, beceause they mostly use similar parts.

Perhaps it's wise not to bash Acer just because it is from overseas. HP/Dell are not any better than Acer.

Personally, I experienced 3 hard drive failures and 2 overheating issues with my original HP laptop in span of a year. My replacement laptop's plastic is not holding up well in some locations.

RE: Hypocrisy
By d1nn0 on 1/20/2010 2:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree with you!
Even more annoying is to see comments about Acer products from people that have never owned/used one.
My wife's oldest laptop will turn 4 years in a couple of months and it's still in perfect shape (except the battery but that's normal for any brand) and is still in use by my mom.
We own 3 other Acer laptops and they all work fine - never had any issues with them.
After shopping around multiple times (to help friends find the best laptop for themselves) I can state that Acer provides the best features/price ratio.
The only thing that I would like improved is the keyboard as almost all of the laptops I've owned/used show moderate keyboard flex.
As for the HP products - I call them "High Price" and I find all of their latest consumer laptops extremely ugly.
About quality/reliability - don't get me started as 5 years ago I was doing internal technical support for the HP employees in North America...

Financial Problems?
By drycrust3 on 1/19/2010 10:50:51 AM , Rating: 3
I can't remember how many times I have seen this sort of statement just before a company goes bust.

No suprise here
By Exterous on 1/19/2010 2:09:35 PM , Rating: 3
Of course they will be dead - the world is ending in 2012

By strikeback03 on 1/19/2010 10:09:11 AM , Rating: 2
They still might not be doing very well financially if all they sell are netbooks with very small profit margins. This article makes no mention of whether all this growth is simply in market share, with profits still declining in the recession.

Oh yea
By Breathless on 1/19/2010 10:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
I love "ow-priced netbooks"

By Taft12 on 1/19/2010 11:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
He is off-base and lacks the most basic of understanding of Dell or HP's business.

Neither of those companies makes much (if anything) on consumer desktop and laptop sales and hasn't for several years. The profitability is in CORPORATE desktops, laptops and servers and ESPECIALLY in services to compliment the hardware sales. How the founder of Acer could not know this is mind boggling.

What may happen to Dell or HP is they could sell of the unprofitable PC business like IBM did. I guess this is what is giving Acer a boner, but that still leaves them in a competitive market making only pennies on each sale while the US companies stick with the golden goose. Have fun with that, Acer.

Also, Dell and HP both make netbooks at comparable price points and quality to the Aspire or EEE PC.

By nafhan on 1/19/2010 11:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
Aren't pretty much all computers made in Southeast Asia? Sure the American companies are based and managed out of the US, but the manufacturing is largely done in the same place as the Taiwanese companies. I'm not going to attempt predicting what will happen to the computer industry in 20 years, but if Dell and HP get out of the PC business I don't think it will be for the reasons stated in the article.

By hellokeith on 1/19/2010 9:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Dell isn't going anywhere.

This is Classic Mick
By ImSpartacus on 1/19/10, Rating: 0
And Acer is correct
By cknobman on 1/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: And Acer is correct
By Donkey2008 on 1/19/2010 11:44:54 AM , Rating: 1
Dell is definitely over-priced without a question. I really love the Latitude E6400 that I use at work, but there is no way that it should have cost almost $2,000 for what I got. I would have asked for a mid-level XPS laptop instead had I known.

By the way, display port is worthless. I would take HDMI instead in a heartbeat.

RE: And Acer is correct
By RMSistight on 1/19/2010 2:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
Dell Outlet is your friend. I got an E6400 with an Nvidia Quadro NVS160 for $600 after 20% off. There was some sticker residue on the back and on the LCD itself. Nothing Goo Gone could take care of. Looks brand new. Oh and if you do go through Dell Outlet I highly recommend the NBD warranty for only $99. It's SOOO worth it.

RE: And Acer is correct
By rudy on 1/20/2010 12:02:35 AM , Rating: 2
The thing none of you guys understand is the business model. Dell is not over priced I shop for computers 4 - 8 times a year and most times I get Dell or HP, because after sales and such they are cheaper and better configured than anything acer can offer. Now if I go out and do not look for deals then I would probably be better off with an off the shelf Acer. The thing is you cant really do much configuring with acer. So you pay a little more to configure the computer the way you like but you can get quick ship models or ones at newegg prebuilt that are well priced. Now that Dell is moving into retail you will see more of this.

Also cheap is not everything in Asia Dell and HP are premium brands which may be skewing the Acer execs opinion. You pay alot for those brands there. But if cheap was all that it was about Apple would be dead.

The point should be taken though HP and dell need to get out some pre configured systems for low prices. And flood the market with these.

RE: And Acer is correct
By StraightCashHomey on 1/20/2010 1:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of configuration are you referring to exactly?

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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