Acer silent on rumored partnership with Chinese

Acer Inc (宏碁) declined to comment on Friday on an industry rumor that the Taiwanese PC brand is to partner with Chinese contract makers to manufacture tablet computers.

“It’s not appropriate for us to talk about the issue at this point,” said Scott Lin (林顯郎), Acer’s senior vice president and president of its greater China operations, at a press briefing.

Lin highlighted the increasing significance of a tablet supply chain in Shenzhen in China, which manufactured between 80 million and 90 million tablets last year, accounting for more than 30 percent of global tablet shipments.

“I think all companies should consider finding tablet solutions in Shenzhen,” Lin said, citing the strengths of Chinese suppliers in reducing costs and accelerating product times to market.

The Taipei-based company’s contract manufacturing partners for its tablet products this year are all Taiwanese companies — Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), Wistron Corp (緯創), Pegatron Corp (和碩) and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) — Lin said.

He forecast that China’s PC shipments will remain flat or drop by up to 3 percent year-on-year, outperforming an 11 percent decrease last year.

Acer is expected to take advantage of this stabilized PC market in China, Lin said, adding that “the worst for Acer is over.”

The company reported an after-tax loss of NT$7.63 billion (US$252.6 million), or a loss of NT$2.8 per share, in the fourth quarter of last year, including an unexpected NT$1.3 billion write-off of inventory for its raw materials.

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