Acer is an empty shell


In 1976, Stan Shin had a dream; he wanted to start a low-cost computer builder company in china. He marshaled up US$25,000 and Acer was born. Shin was not intimidated by business start-up frustrations. He was patient and in the early 1990s, the resilience started to pay off.

Like a projectile, Acer took off to the skies of success in 1993; the company’s revenue climbed to US$4.9 billion. Acer widened its horizon beyond the Chinese borders. Three years down the line, the company’s revenue more than doubled. With US$11.31 billion revenue in 2006, Acer hand washed its hands and was ready to dine with kings of the computer industry on the world stage.

The company grew older and started to bear children, Benq was one of them. If you have used computers for some time, you most probably used a mouse, keyboard, webcam, digital camera, scanner, projector, DVD-Writer or monitor from Benq.


Acer is not a cheap brand, it is a budget product. What all that marketing gibberish means is that Acer tablets, laptops and desktops do not disappoint.

Somewhere in the 1990s, Burco was a local representative of Acer. During the time, banks were migrating from manual systems to current technological fairylands. Because Acer was a good machine and wore a fairer price tag, it sold like hot cakes and was a darling of the banking sector.

It is hard to understand that a company with such impeccable record is ready to be swallowed up by the companies like HP or Dell.


Acer’s problem dates back from Q3 2007 when its profit of US$100 million remained flat until Q3 2011 when it took nock of US$300 million. This caused the company to make a loss of US$200 million. Acer soon recovered from the kick in the teeth in Q1 2012 but just barely managed to break even until Q1 2013 when it made another loss of US$100 million. The company emerged from the muddy financial waters in Q1 2014 and is now floating.

The situation is not unique to Acer. Dell started to make losses of about US$50 million in Q3 2007 but managed to come back to winning ways almost immediately. By Q1 2010, the company was fighting to stay above the waters. Dell put up a grand fight and made an impressive profit of US$250 million in Q1 2011 before making a US$100 million loss in Q3 2012.

HP, the company that occupies the top spot in the PC industry, has not been spared. It has witnessed its profitability fall from US$600 million to US$250 within that period.

Surprising, Apple, the technology company that discarded the ‘computer’ badge and prefers to be referred to as a mobile company has managed to push its profits from US$600 million to US$1.3 billion.

When asked if he would allow a take-over bid, the honorary chairman and founder of Acer, Stan Shin stunned the techie world when he warned that a company that bought Acer would pay dearly for paying for an empty shell.

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