Acer's boss expects the vendor's PC shipments to slump up to 15 per cent sequentially in the first quarter, but insists the firm has a "good chance" of scraping back to black this year.
The prediction illustrates the massive challenges faced by Acer, given the massive year-on-year slump in shipments it showed for the fourth quarter.
JT Wang told a media briefing that its business would bottom out in the January to March quarter, Focus Taiwan reported today. But the massive slip did not mean a profit for the year overall was not possible, Wang continued.
The expected 10 to 15 per cent drop in shipments in the quarter was down to seasonal factors and the transition to new products, Focus Taiwan said.
The site did not specify what those new products were. Perhaps the Acer chairman and CEO was referring to sizzling new PC and laptop designs, in which case the vendor would need something amazing up its sleeve, given consumers' current "whatever" attitude to traditional formats.
Focus Taiwan also reported that corporate president Jim Wong predicted Acer would ship 5 million tablets this year, up on the 1.8 million it shipped last year.
Wong reportedly said: "We have a full spectrum, including low-cost, mid-range and high-end products." This will include 8-inch and 10-inch tablets, flagged up last month but only set to appear around the middle of the year at the earliest.
However, while Acer has previously grappled for the top spot in the PC market, its tablet ambitions represent a drop in the global ocean.
IDC reported last month that total worldwide tablet shipments were 52.5 million in the fourth quarter up 75.3 per cent on the year. Apple shipped 22.9 million of those units, Samsung accounted for 7.9 million and Amazon 6 million.
By comparison, worldwide PC shipments were down 6.4 per cent to 89.8 million in the fourth quarter, with Acer taking 7.8 per cent of that, as its unit shipments tumbled 28.2 per cent year on year to 6.9 million units.
Acer's UK PRs were unavailable for comment. ®