Acer confirms Extensa reserves are on the way

Under fire from its channel partners for failing to maintain stock levels, Acer last week moved to assure its Australian resellers that the vendor is doing everything it can to meet the overwhelming demand for the Extensa 500 series of notebooks.

While Acer is expected to make an announcement to the channel this week, the vendor's marketing director Charles Chung told ARN that stocks of the popular 500T model (the notebook used in the Victorian Department of Education tender) will arrive later this month for quality checking and delivery to the channel in "early January".

Diverting stock

Chung was reacting to allegations reported in ARN (December 9, page 6) that Acer has been diverting stock of its Extensa series away from its regular channel to meet the requirements of the Department of Education (DOE).

He said that the first 10,000 units which were due to be with the teachers this week were allocated from Acer's global stocks before the contract had even been won.

"The 500T was only released in October, and the DOE stock was always treated as a separate allocation to the requirements of our channel partners," Chung explained.

Acer is reported to have experienced a 200 per cent jump in its notebook sales in Australia this year. According to Chung, the demand for its "value range" 500 series notebooks has far exceeded expectations, with sales of the 500T (not including the DOE deal) achieving two and three times expected levels.

"This has been due in part to the reseller promotion involving the Palm Professional," he said. Acer is giving away the organiser with every notebook sold before Christmas.

Encouraged to up-sell

Chung said that for the time being, they have encouraged distributors and resellers to up-sell customers to the 501T (266MHz) which, despite being several hundred dollars more, still offers strong value compared to similar models of other vendors.

He confirmed that there would be "thousands of 500Ts checked and on hand in early January.

"Despite the pressure from our channel, all products must go through our stringent testing before shipping, and we will be working to our maximum to get the stock where it is required."

It is understood that Acer can move 500 units through the testing process per day.