Acer's holiday sales especially strong for gaming laptops and Chromebooks
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Acer, the 6th largest x86 desktop and notebook manufacturer behind Apple (2016 full year sales), has reported independent figures showing that their North American Notebook sales over the Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales period were up 78% compared to the same period last year. This is a significant gain considering the volume of sales that are processed over that period.
A considerable part of this gain is attributed to the two categories of gaming (300%) and Chromebooks (250%). Reviewers and consumers have mostly well-received Acer's gaming products such as the powerful Predator 17X or the bang-for-your-buck Acer Helios 300, and we would expect both of those models to have performed strongly in their respective categories. Likewise, there are more consumers getting interested in the ease and simplicity of a Chromebook which handles software and updates in a model more similar to the smartphone systems they are used to. Sales performance was also improved in China, where third-quarter revenue saw an increase of 26% year-on-year, meaning that Acer’s sales grew in the two largest PC markets.
Acer has been slowly losing market share over the last few years. They first entered the top five global manufacturers based on market share in the early 2000’s, with a rapid growth during the late 00’s thanks to their focus on value-for-money products. This gave them two years in the number two spot behind HP but ahead of Dell and Lenovo. Part of the decline was likely due to a shift in consumer focus with a more substantial percentage of customers willing to spend more on the premium products that had started to enter the Windows-PC market. Another potential reason for the decline could have been an increase in warranty and reliability problems, which did damage to their brand image before it was corrected.
With the change in focus from some of their traditional regional competitors, it will be interesting to see where Acer appears on the Gartner 2017 PC market share list.