Acer is well on course to overtake Hewlett-Packard as the world's leading laptop vendor by the end of this year, according to Chairman J.T. Wang. He said that better-than-expected performance in some countries should see revenues jump 10-15 percent sequentially in the third quarter. He made the comments while addressing shareholders at a meeting.
However, Acer may have already pipped HP to the top spot in the netbook market. Gartner's research shows that the Taiwanese PC vendor finished the first quarter as the world's leading notebook seller ahead of HP, though the gap between the two was marginal – 9.49 million notebooks to HP's 9.47 million.
Wang said that the company has managed to grow even in the face of the ongoing debt crisis in Europe. More importantly, Acer hasn't resorted to price hikes to offset the recent wage increases in China. Moving forward, the world's number two PC vendor hopes to make a dent in the smartphone market aided by Google Android.
November ranks as a quirky month for first-tier motherboard makers ECS and MSI, who posted mixed results. ECS said its consolidated revenues were down 3.05 percent sequentially in November, which is in contrast to revenues being up 6.16 percent for MSI.
Unfortunately for MSI, November is not indicative of the past year. MSI's November revenues tumbled 24.25 percent on year with combined revenues from January to November down 20.43 percent on year, which is by far the biggest drop out of first-tier mobo makers.
To put it into perspective, ECS posted the second worst numbers, with November revenues down 4.8 percent on year. Meanwhile, Gigabyte and Asus were both up, posting gains of 18.62 percent and 58.32 percent, respectively.
ECS, who began the year with ambitious goals, will have little to celebrate as the year comes to an end. The company estimates that its total mobo shipments for the year will reach 17.2 million, failing to meet its goal of 20 million units. ECS is also unlikely to achieve its shipment goal of four million notebooks for 2009, and is expected to fall short by about 600,000 units.
"It has been quite amazing to watch the global excitement build around Windows 7, especially during a tough economic climate. It was just a few short weeks ago that we learned about Windows 7 outselling the UK's "own" Harry Potter. In Japan, anxious PC users waited in line to be one of the first to get their hands on Windows 7," a clearly ecstatic Le Blanc wrote on the official Windows Team Blog.
According to NPD's weekly tracking service, Windows 7 software unit sales in the US surpassed VIstas by 234 percent during the first few days. However, revenue generated by Windows 7 sales was only 82 percent higher than Vista's during the tracking period. NPD imputed the rather lackluster revenue growth to the discounts offered on pre-sales and Microsoft's failure to plug the Ultimate version in a manner its due. Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with an average selling price of $76 was the top-selling Windows 7 SKU during the week ending October 24, 2009.
Though nobody expected Windows Mobile 6.5 to break any ground, it even failed to fulfill whatever few expectations people may have had. It is hard to imagine Windows Mobile 6.5 spurring handset shipments. However, HTC CEO Peter Chou claims there is strong demand for the company’s Windows Mobile 6.5-based HTC HD2 smartphone.
Everyone in the motherboard business seems to be having a tough run to end the summer, and that includes Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), who announced consolidated revenues of just under $186 million for August, down 2.8 percent sequentially. That also represents a drop of 10.4 percent on year.
ECS has had a rough time maintaining the kind of motherboard shipment numbers it had grown accustomed to before the economy took a dump. The mobo maker shipped just 1.43 million units in August, which is down 9 percent on month and a significant 20.3 percent on year. Notebooks, on the other hand, climbed to 200,000 units, ECS reports.
Despite the continued struggle to push more motherboards into the marketplace, ECS says it is retaining a positive outlook towards the second half of 2009 and expects revenues to turn back around. Part of the optimism is no doubt related to Intel's recently released Core i5 platform and the resulting demand for P55 chipset products.
The global economy currently has a nimiety of bad news, which seems to be coming from all corners at a cataclysmic speed. Just a week after Intel revised its fourth-quarter guidance downwards, Nvidia has also followed suit. The company has lowered its fourth-quarter revenue guidance and now expects revenues to decline by 40 percent to 50 percent compared to the third quarter.
Just like other major chip manufacturers, including Intel, Nvidia also lays the blame on plummeting demand. It also blames “inventory reductions by Nvidia's channel partners in the global PC supply chain.” Nvidia will post its fourth-quarter results on February 10th.