While the PC market has been flat overall with either a small amount of growth or a small amount of decline, many OEMs have been seeing good success by specializing in the growth areas of the market, gaming PCs and thin-and-light laptops.
Acer has now reported on some of the results of the strategy, telling DigiTimes sales for gaming products, including notebooks, desktops and monitors, hiked 61%, 51% and 103% respectively on year in first-half 2017.
Acer chairman Jason Chen notes that this was better than originally expected and presumably led to the company to increase its investment in these growth segments, with Acer revealing several gaming products at IFA 2017 and telling Digitimes they are hiring talent to inject more vitality into the company.
In the first half of 2017, gaming devices only accounted for less than 10% of Acer’s overall notebook unit shipments, but the business’s revenue contribution reached as a double-digit percentage, while related product lines accounted for 16-19% of the company’s gross profits, said Chen, adding that the company will work harder to improve, as some competitors see gaming devices account for as high as 50% of their gross profits.
Acer was also going for more premium devices in the 2-in-1s and ultra-thin PC market.
Acer was also looking to become a multi-brand market, establishing itself as a gaming brand, sponsoring e-sports and partnering with Red Bull, pushing into VR and also artificial intelligence.
In terms of the VR market, Acer was pushing to the VR theme park market, but they also expected Microsoft’s MR ecosystem to become the largest of the VR industry, reaching 10 million units per year in a few years.
Acer’s success despite the flat or declining market shows this is not necessarily the end of innovation, something I think we have also been seeing in spades from other PC companies, as the market becomes increasingly responsive to the demands of buyers, and in turn are able to charge higher prices, which seems to be a win-win for everyone involved.