Acer: The PC is dead - long live the PC

Acer: The PC is dead - long live the PC

Acer yesterday launched a range of appliances aimed at bringing the Internet to the home market and boost profits as part of an ongoing strategy to consolidate its image in the PC market.

Acer unveiled its range of Internet appliances (IAs), the first of which will arrive in July, focusing on affordability and ease of use in a market where the power of the Internet is a driving force.

"The PC is definitely not dead, but its function will change," said Acer's managing director Patrick Lin. "The PC's main role will be in the commercial arena. In the consumer arena, I think Internet Appliances offer more choice. Beyond the personal computer, there is still a PC, but its focus will shift to personal communication."

Lin said he hoped IA sales would top $100 million for the company within the next year, pushing revenue over the $300 million mark.

"PC sales will become a subset of our operations and earnings from IA devices will dominate," he predicted. "If Acer can dominate the market and offer end to end solutions, I think we will have very good growth for the next couple of years."

Acer's range of products includes the i-Station, an all-in-one home information and entertainment system; Webpad, which offers portable wireless Internet access; i-Phone, a phone which can also be used for emailing, surfing, online transactions or conference calls; and SlimMate, Acer's PDA device.

The key to Acer's market is affordability, according to Lin, who envisages the products will provide a "family portal" whereby consumers can customise their information and entertainment.

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