OEM Acer Squeezed By M$

What is it with people? Acer loses money despite selling millions of PCs and Digitimes claims it’s the cost of hardware that did them in? Please…
“Acer has announced net loss per share of NT$0.13 for the second quarter due to increased cost from rising DRAM quotes and investment to strengthen the company’s industrial design capability.”

see Acer sees losses in 2Q13 due to costs from DRAM and investment.

What if Acer had not sent $hundreds of millions to M$ but installed GNU/Linux and kept the money for itself? They would have made a handsome profit. According to IDC, Acer shipped over 6 million legacy PCs. That’s larger than Acer’s deficit ($20million USD) by a factor of 10 or so. Acer could have cut prices, sold more units, advertised the benefits of GNU/Linux and made more money with GNU/Linux. Do the maths.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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10 Responses to OEM Acer Squeezed By M$

  1. bw, trying to tell everyone what to say, think and do, wrote, “Granted that there is a reasonable tolerance for Linux amongst OEMs and they will do what their customers ask them to do, but that is not actively promoting it as a business strategy. I think you know that.”

    Of course I don’t know that. Dell bought Wyse for a reason. Now they offer hardware-identical units Dell X50M thin client notebook for $835 and Dell EX90M7 for $946. The difference? GNU/Linux on the X50M and that other OS on the EX90M7. How are they not actively promoting GNU/Linux when they sell units offering side-by-side comparison with that other OS?

    Consider Dell’s Vostro line: “One thing of interest to a lot of our readers is that we will offer Ubuntu Linux as an option on all four of these machines worldwide. Regular readers of Direct2Dell know that we already support Ubuntu on select systems several countries.

    These new Vostro systems will be introduced in more than 20 countries over the coming months—including Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. They will be available primarily through authorized channel partners worldwide and also directly from Dell. Pricing for the products will vary by configuration, region and country. Additional Vostro products designed for emerging markets and high-growth economies will be introduced in the coming months.”

    Nothing on Dell.com in USA but check out Dell.com.in: 7 models. How is that not promoting GNU/Linux?

  2. bw says:

    anything if the buyer asks for it.

    That is not the same as an OEM making a big effort to sell it and then having the trade press write up how it is working out so famously. Granted that there is a reasonable tolerance for Linux amongst OEMs and they will do what their customers ask them to do, but that is not actively promoting it as a business strategy. I think you know that.

  3. Thanks for the link. It’s great news. Unfortunately WSJ requires a subscription. ZDnet has the gist of it.

    Still the CEO of Acer clings to the hope of an M$-revival but he’s hedging is bets with Android/Linux and ChromeOS… I don’t understand why he plans to increase his revenue greatly with */Linux but still bothers with that other OS. If his projections are correct, M$ will be just another OS-supplier in a few years.

  4. bw wrote some nonsense about “you do not read of any OEM making very much of any effort to sell it.”.

    Dell – 1000 stores in China and India is a big effort.

    HP – since 2004, HP has been shipping a lot of GNU/Linux PCs. Today, HP actively promotes use of GNU/Linux on servers and PCs. Lenovo encourages customers to use GNU/Linux and will supply it if asked. HP and Dell account for ~28% of PC shipments.

    As far as I know, all OEMs will ship GNU/Linux on anything if the buyer asks for it.

  5. bw says:

    I have not read of any OEM having difficulty selling GNU/Linux.

    That is because you do not read of any OEM making very much of any effort to sell it. When you look for Linux successes, you invariably point to some on-line vendor servicing the SA rain forests or Asian steppes or African bush. You point to articles that say that Windows 8 has failed to re-ignite intense interest in the PC business products, but you never find an article that says that some OEM is making hay while the sun shines with delivering Linux PCs to an eager market.

    The very essence of any Microsoft “monopoly” is brought about by the OEM’s fear that their access to Windows might be restricted and so lower their competitiveness in the Wintel market. They surely do not fear that they will be subjected to increase profits by having to switch to offering Linux based products.

  6. Mechatotoro says:

    “I guess they are not hungry enough yet”
    Their tummies are beginning to rumble according to the Wall Street Journal: “Acer to expand Android, Chromebook offerings–PC maker plans fewer Windows products as demands slows”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323477604579000112266765496.html

  7. bw wrote of Acer selling GNU/Linux, “The most likely result would be that Acer would not have sold very many PCs”

    I have not read of any OEM having difficulty selling GNU/Linux. Dell has opened hundreds of stores selling it. ASUS could not keep up with demand. Raspberry Pi and the Indian tablet are all maxed-out. I would bet Acer could easily sell 6 million GNU/Linux machines in a quarter as well as that other OS. The threshold they have not crossed is recommending GNU/Linux and actually pushing it. That will come soon, I expect, probably this year. Acer has had great success and great failures the last few years. Eventually they will figure it out. Acer’s competitors in Brazil, for instance, are selling a ton of notebook and desktop PCs with GNU/Linux. Acer sells none at Walmart. I guess they are not hungry enough yet.

  8. dougman says:

    Broken Windows (bw) Solution

  9. bw says:

    What if Acer had not sent $hundreds of millions to M$

    The most likely result would be that Acer would not have sold very many PCs. Probably about 99% fewer.

  10. matchrocket says:

    At the very least OEMs should be selling dual booting machines with Linux as the other OS. That way when the Windows side gets borked the user can switch to the Linux side and finally experience freedom.

    They could call it anything they want. Security OS. Second OS. Backup OS. The Real Thing OS. bw’s Worst Nightmare OS.

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