Acer denies reports it plans to get out of tablet, smartphone business


TAIPEI — Taiwanese PC maker Acer Inc. said yesterday it has no plans to shut down its tablet computer and smartphone business as reported in the media.

Contrary to a United Daily News report, Acer said, it will maintain its newly established touch business group but will adjust its product strategy.

“We will not quit the tablet and smartphone markets — we will continue to make these products,” Acer spokesman Henry Wang told CNA. “However, we’re thinking about how to do it better, and we plan to integrate our resources to facilitate our operations.”

Acer is expected to announce organizational changes in its 300-member workforce next month, transferring 150 engineers to other departments and cutting the staff in its tablet and smartphone operations to 70 and 30 people, respectively, according to the newspaper report.

“Indeed, we are considering an organizational adjustment, but the details have not yet been finalized or announced,” Wang said.

Acer products, including its notebooks, desktop PCs, tablet PCs, smartphones and monitors, will focus more on quality than quantity next year because it is more important to be competitive, he said.

In June, Acer revised downward its full-year forecast for tablet shipments from 5-7 million units to 2.5-3 million units, and cut the prediction further on Aug. 24 to 2-2.5 million units, citing weakening demand. The company launched its first smartphone running Microsoft’s Windows Mango operating system in late October, a sign of the company’s bullish sentiment about the future of the Windows business.

Acer was the fourth company in the world to offer Mango phones, after HTC Corp., Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.