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September 22, 2017

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Acer sets out to revive local PC sales

TAIPEI--Taiwan's Acer Inc. (宏碁股份) launched a new notebook-tablet hybrid device in its home market on Monday as part of a strategy to generate 10 percent quarterly growth in personal computer sales in Taiwan in the third quarter.

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 combines a notebook and a tablet in one flexible device that is suitable for touch input, typing, viewing and sharing files. It is available now at NT$12,900 (US$428).

The gadget is touted by Acer as one of the thinnest 2-in-1 devices on the market and features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, up to 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and an Intel Atom Bay Trail quad-core processor.

Towny Huang (黃鐘鋒), who returned to the struggling PC maker on May 1 as president of Taiwan operations after having retired in 2011, said Acer has actually created many "weapons" to boost its growth gradually over the next three to five years.

Acknowledging that Acer is still lagging behind its competitors in Taiwan's PC market, Huang said he and CEO Jason Chen are scheduled to begin a business tour around Taiwan on May 14 to visit distribution partners and try to expand its retail network.

He expressed hope that the efforts could pay off within a month and help Acer achieve 10 percent quarterly growth in PC shipments in the July-September period.

"If we can do some good things, we can win back our market share," the executive said at the product launch, citing a corporate strategy to improve Acer's product portfolio and marketing.

Huang said Acer is aiming to ship more than 10,000 units of the Aspire Switch 10 in Taiwan per month, higher than those of other competitors such as Asustek Computer Inc.'s Transformer Book T100, which is priced aggressively at US$349.

Acer announced on May 8 that it returned to profitability in the first quarter after posting losses for three consecutive quarters, thanks to effectively controlling inventory and costs and stabilizing gross profit.

The money-losing PC manufacturer reported after-tax profit of NT$1 million (US$37,000) in the first quarter, or earnings per share of NT$0.0004.

Shares in Acer closed flat at NT$19.20 in Taipei trading on Monday before the new product was introduced.

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