Acer seeks eco-friendly laptops made from recycled materials as PC sales slow | Techy Kings


Acer, the world’s No. 5 PC maker in terms of market share, has seen the pace of orders slow as work-from-home jobs decline and computer makers face supply chain disruptions.

But the company’s chief operating officer, Jerry Kao, said Acer is working on a solution. Acer aims to strengthen its environmental credentials by selling notebooks that are made from recycled materials and are easy to repair.

After “relatively healthy” earnings from January to March, demand for Acer PCs became clear in the second quarter of this year, Cao says. First-quarter consolidated revenues reached $2.6 billion, up 9.5% year-over-year. Acer has yet to release second quarter data.

“Demand is currently declining across all PC segments,” Kao said in an interview. “Q2 suddenly started changing—a lot of issues, the war issue, the infection issues. I think all PC makers are still struggling. Some of the upstream bodies came late because they came from eastern China, he added. Earlier this year, lockdowns hit the major commercial hubs of Shenzhen and Shanghai.

In the year A sudden surge in PC demand in 2020 and 2021, as home-based consumers snap up laptops for telecommuting and online learning, will cause an industry-wide slowdown, Cao et al.

Shipments of traditional PCs fell 5.1% in the first quarter, according to market research firm IDC, which said the sector was “coming off two years of double-digit growth.” IDC said vendors shipped more than 80 million PCs in the first three months of the year. The war in Ukraine has cut off supplies of semiconductors in part because two Ukrainian companies make lasers used in chip manufacturing.

Acer earlier this year weathered global supply chain problems because most of its production takes place in the western Chinese city of Chongqing, which has missed the scale of lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai, Cao said.

The 45-year-old company, based in suburban Taipei, ranked fifth in global computer market share in the first quarter, according to IDC data. Lenovo came in first, followed by HP, Dell and Apple. Acer faced financial difficulties a decade ago due to management changes amid an increasingly competitive market. But the company managed to bounce back by designing Chromebooks and gaming PCs.

Acer launched the eco-friendly Aspire Vero line last year to gain a “relatively better” position against competitors making similar PC models, Cao says.

Vero laptops use post-consumer recycled materials in the casing and keycaps, according to Acer. Up to 85% of the packaging is recycled paper. The series started with three notebooks and all-in-ones and accessories like keyboards. The PCs are easy to assemble and maintain, which means they can be fixed rather than thrown in for a favor or a new one, Cao says. Vero models sell for upwards of $600 online.

“You want something special, and then we show up,” Cao said. We spend most of our efforts now highlighting competitive advantages that others do not have.


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