A product presentation in Amsterdam, the third location of a five day world tour, saw Acer President and CEO Gianfranco Lanci in an especially triumphant mood. During a presentation of PC market figures, Lanci made the surprising claim that Acer "will be number one within a year."
From an 'also-ran' company less than 5 years ago to a notable mobile computing goliath, Acer is now chomping at the heels of HP and Dell. But Acer still has some way to go before it can claim world domination of the mobile computing market. According to Gartner figures, HP had an 18.4 per cent share, Dell a 14.3 and Acer an 11.1 per cent market share during 2008.
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Questioned regarding his bold claim, Lanci clarified his position in that he expects HP and Dell to drop their positions as the market staggers over the next year.
But Acer still expects to be the 'world's leading mobile solution company' through its development of more internet-enabled devices. There was also the little matter of claiming Acer's new all day battery life products were key to this growth.
Acer's Aspire One netbook is certainly the hero of the hour, especially in Europe where it currently dominates the market. But this world tour is to launch a complete mobile computing range of over 20 products from value based eMachines up to the premium Acer Timeline series of laptops. It also announced the 13.6-inch Aspire One Ultra.
Diminutive mobile computing technology was also evident through a raft of Windows 7-ready, multi-touch screen all-in-one PCs. Acer's Aspire Revo, an Intel Atom/Nvidia Ion based nettop with its Wii-like accelerometer input control was also on show, bolted to the VESA mounting of some large LCD monitors.
New mobile tech
We also learned more about some interesting technological developments including Intel's laminar wall jet technology. Like the cooling technology of today's jet engines it uses louvred inlets to quietly jet cool air across the notebook's bottom, rather than using your lap as the heat dissipater.
Further development of Acer's current and future product lines was ably assisted by some canny customer research. With his all-encompassing title of Director of Mobile and Stationary products for EMEA, Antonello Fornara outlined the highlights of a survey conducted to determine customers' top desires for notebook tech. While inevitably longer battery life topped the bill, bizarrely we noted that the inclusion of a fingerprint reader was of secondary importance.