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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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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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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