For Acer, it's Number One or bust

Acer expects to fulfil its dream of becoming the world's biggest PC company by the end of the year, chairman JT Wang said today.

Wang told a General Shareholders’ Meeting in Taiwan that the company expects revenue in the third quarter to rise between between 10 and 15 per cent sequentially.

The company is better place than most to absorb component price increases, and even wage pressure from mainland China, without increasing prices Wang said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We have responded faster than our competitors to the demand in the market," Wang said. "We are one of a very few that is able to respond to the market when demand stabilised in the latter part of the second quarter because we were prepared."

The Taiwanese outfit has transformed itself over the past few years, in a transition we reckon was engineered by ex-boss Stan Shih, the godfather of the Taiwanese tech industry.

The outfit dumped its manufacturing business, preferring instead to build a brand - or three - and make margin that way, following the American model. It then drafted in a shrewd Italian management team charged with the mission to make the firm the biggest computer firm on the planet, in terms of units shipped, at any cost. Except profit, of course.

Gartner reckons Acer became the world's biggest supplier of notebook PCs in the first quarter of this year, shipping 9.49 million units, to beat HP's 9.47 million units.

Wang said Acer expects its desktop shipments to increase significantly this year, and has set a target of 10 million units shipped, 20 per cent up on last year.

That should be enough to oust HP at the top of the heap.

Acer developed a muilt-brand startegy to increase its penetration into markets where its numbers were low - partciularly the US. Its acquisition of Gateway gave it a recognised brand in that market and the strategy which includes the Packard Bell and eMachines brands appears to be paying off.

The outfit is now dabbling with the low-cost server sector and is also going after the Smartphone market. The firm has plans to invest $15 million to develop a smartphone platform based on Google's Android OS.

According to the report, Wang said the company plans to launch fewer phones using Microsoft's Windows OS but it still plans to launch at least half a dozen smartphones this year.