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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 1/19/2010 9:50:52 AM , Rating: 0
Just because you sell the most cheaply made netbooks doesn't mean you make quality products. I don't know anyone with an Acer desktop or laptop yet everyone I know has either a Dell, HP or Apple desktop or laptop.

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.

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