updated 05:15 pm EDT, Wed August 12, 2009
Ultrathins in trouble?
Acer chairman JT Wang has admitted that the company's shipments of ultra-thin notebooks has not reached initial sales goals, according to the DigiTimes. The computer maker has adjusted its internal forecasts to reflect the changing conditions, reducing total shipment volumes for the third quarter from 30 percent to 20 percent. Fourth quarter volumes have been similarly reduced from 50 percent to 30 percent.
Wang did note, however, that Acer still anticipates ultra-thin devices to account for approximately half of the company's total notebook shipments in 2010. The company also claims it is still on-track to achieve 30-40 percent growth in notebook shipments through the second half of the year compared to the first.
Acer's forecast adjustment appears to corroborate earlier reports suggesting products based on Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) are struggling in the current market conditions. Sales have allegedly remained modest despite heavy marketing and bundles providing free upgrades to Windows 7. The companies are said to be waiting until November until sales start to pick-up, while new processors and competition should drive the market prices down.
The ultra-thin devices bridge a gap between full-size notebooks and slower netbooks with comparatively small screens. The CULV systems are also expected to compete against high-end ultraportables from companies such as Apple and Sony. A number of analysts, however, have suggested that the current CULV offerings are too cheaply built, with cases that cannot support the systems.