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Mon 25 Feb 2008 05:42 PM

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Acer confirm development of cut-price laptop

Acer announces low cost lap-top for emerging markets, expected in second half of this year

Emanuele Accolla, vice president of Acer Europe, Middle East and Africa, confirmed that the company is developing a low price laptop aimed at emerging economies, children, and the ultra-mobile sector.

Speaking at a press conference in Dubai today, Accolla said that the laptop would be introduced to emerging markets where the company already has a customer base, sometime in the second half of 2008.

Acer's plans for a low cost laptop had previously been announced in the Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times earlier this month. Details are currently thin on the ground, although the vendor has said that the laptop should cost around $470, and have a 7 or 9 inch screen.

Acer said the notebook should not tap into its current customer base due to it being developed to suit low-penetration markets such as the Middle East, where Acer has been enjoying an increasing percentage of the market share in recent years. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region Acer is currently the leading notebook vendor, with a market share of 20.9% and a year-on-year growth of 45.3% despite a regional IT market growth of 15.7%.

This is partially due to the increase in popularity of notebooks over desktop PCs, with 2009 predicted as the first year that notebooks take over in terms of units sold.

Yet this move still comes as something as a surprise, as Acer previously said it would not be competing in the growing niche of economical laptops. Nonetheless, the corporation's growth and acquisitions appeared to have filled Accolla with confidence.

"Acer was the fifth player in the market in 2001, with just 3% market share. When you have 3% of the global market share, it's difficult to say something credible to the market. Today, we are number three worldwide. Now we can play with the big guys, worldwide, without facing any fear," he said.

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