Acer founder thinks devices like the iPad and MacBook Air are passing fads

Tue, Aug 9, 2011


Despite innovative success that has spanned decades, Apple is still pigeonholed by pundits as being nothing more than a company that got lucky. According to these pundits, Apple uses a clever blend of marketing and trickery to get people into their stores and snatch up iOS devices and Macs in record numbers.

This warped logic, however, isn’t solely confined to analysts and the like. Companies who perpetually struggle to keep up with Apple have also developed a bad habit of attributing their own failures to Apple’s passing and undeserved good fortune.

In the most recent example of a corporate executive looking outward instead of inward, Acer founder Stan Shih dismissed two of Apple’s hottest selling products as being nothing more than passing fads. Shih specifically referenced ultrabooks and tablets (i.e MacBook Airs and iPads) as “short-term phenomena” without significant staying power. Yet at the same time Shih said Apple’s outside the box thinking with the iPad is something all notebook manufacturers should emulate.

So are devices like the iPad and MacBook Air fads?

Maybe – that is if you discount astronomical sales figures of the iPad while consciously ignoring that MacBook Air sales were so strong that Apple decided to completely do away with the white entry-level MacBook in favor of the slimmer Air.

It’s also worth mentioning that Acer has been particularly hit by Apple’s success in the ultrabook and tablet market – which is why Shih undoubtedly hopes those products are nothing more than fads.

Earlier this year, Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci resigned in the wake of the iPad’s detrimental affect on Acer’s bottom line and potential for growth. Sources indicated at the time that the iPad by itself completely threw a monkey wrench into Acer’s “lineup for the entry level notebook market.”

To be fair, we’ve grown somewhat accustomed to Acer executives sitting on the throne of wishful thinking. Remember that Acer chairman JT Wang predicted last Summer that the iPad’s share of the tablet market would drop down to an astonishingly low 20% once tablets running Android began hitting the market. Previously, former CEO Lanci said back in 2010 that iPad sales will cool off and that Acer’s own tablets would become the market leader in 2-3  years.

And he resigned just a few months later.

When will people learn that it’s bad business to bet against Apple?

via Digitimes


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