Acer expects up to 80% of its products to use touchscreen technology by next year or the year after, hoping new tablets and touch-notebook computers will revive its sales in a PC market where quarterly shipments are at their lowest in nearly four years.
Touchscreen models are expected to rise to 30-35% of total notebook PC sales at the world's No. 4 PC vendor by the end of this year, up from 25% this quarter, Acer Chairman JT Wang told Reuters in an interview. The company shipped 1.2 million tablets in the January-March quarter and has a target of 5 million to 10 million for the whole year.
"Price and supply for touch panels provide some constraints now but that will ease and boost the penetration of touch-devices," Wang, also Acer's chief executive, said on Monday ahead of the opening of Taiwan's annual Computex trade fair.
Research firm IHS has forecast that shipments of touch-enabled mobile PCs would grow rapidly starting this year, rising to about 25% of all notebooks by 2016, as prices fall and Intel makes a major push in the technology.
In smartphones, Acer on Monday introduced a 5.7-inch phablet running on Android that allows multitasking. Wang said its strategy would focus on phablets with more data-processing capability.
Wang expects the PC industry as a whole to see a decline in shipments this year but the notebook and tablet PC segments combined to grow 10 to 15%.
Market researcher Gartner said global PC Shipments in the first quarter dropped to their lowest since the second quarter of 2009. Barclays Capital forecast second-quarter notebook PC growth would be muted and might be the worst in 12 years, as the industry shifts to new products.