Acer Pulls Back on PC Builds

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

While Acer may have passed its larger rival Dell in netbook shipments in Q1, the victory may be short-lived. Supply chain checks indicate that Acer is pulling back on PC builds for Q2. Plus, the computer processors behind netbooks saw a 33 percent decline in shipments last quarter.

Acer may have passed Dell in netbook shipments in Q1, but supply chain checks indicate the PC maker is pulling back on manufacturing orders with ODMs.

That could spell troubling news for netbooks in Q2. Already an IDC report earlier this week indicated that the computer processors behind netbooks -- Intel Atom -- saw shipments drop by 33 percent in Q1, indicating the supply chain may have filled itself with chip inventory for the mini-notebooks.

Acer is cutting back on PC orders with ODMs, according to FBR Research, which confirmed the trend with its own checks of the supply chain channel, and because of that the firm is revising some of its Q2 estimates for PC builds.

For Q2, FBR research is now expecting notebook builds to grow 11 percent quarter over quarter, compared to the 14 percent the firm previously had forecast. Desktop shipments are expected to decline 10 percent quarter over quarter compared to the 2 percent decline the company previously had forecast.

"These negative revisions are due to continued softening demand in Europe, slowing demand momentum for netbooks following a possible Q2 channel fill of new models and some delayed projects on low-voltage notebook models," says FBR Research in a brief report about the changing trend. "These checks represent a turn in near-term positive momentum in the PC sector where we had three positive build revisions in a row, likely giving investors an excuse to sell chip stocks in an effort to protect recent gains."

Nearly 6 million netbooks shipped in Q1, raising their share within the notebook PC market to close to 20 percent, according to market research firm DisplaySearch.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com