Acer Kicks off IFA in Bullish Mode

Acer was the first press conference and CEO Jason Chen started by saying that sales in Germany were double in Q2 2014 and in Austria, it was closer to 3X business. Chen said that he believes that Acer is “on its way back”. In the future, Acer will run a “Back to School” event each year in New York in May, followed by product launches at IFA for the end of the year. This will be a continuing plan. Chen said that Acer should not be managed by market share. Market share, he said, is the result of taking the right actions with customers and products not the primary target.

The topic of the conference was “A touch more connected” based on a BYOC (bring your own cloud) concept. Acer has always focused on “speed to market” and execution, but Chen said that Acer’s founder Stan Shih believes that a key achievement of Acer has been to able to bring computing devices to ordinary people by reducing cost and that it wants to continue with this objective.

Chen pointed out that Acer has product display diagonals from 1″ (on wearables) to 100″ with its projectors. Chen claimed that Acer is the #1 brand for projector sales in Germany (later clarified to us as #1 for DLP in Germany).

Christian Morales from Intel was introduced. Chen said that he worked with Morales in Hong Kong for three years. The PC market is expanding again, now, and consumers want a seamless experience from PCs to their mobile devices. There has been a lot of innovation in form factors and Morales said that EMEA has been influential in driving the innovation. Germany was the first country to see more notebooks shipped than desktops and is often a leader in technology.

In the past, the interfaces for PCs have been keyboards, mice and touch. Intel wants to see more interfaces and plans a lot of announcements at IFA about gestures.

Next was a video showing the new Aspire R13 convertible notebook. Features include Gorilla glass on the high resolution (WQHD 2560 x 1440) display. It has 6 modes of operation and physical configuration but is designed for “no compromise” performance. There is a special “easel” hinge that allows the display to be mounted face up or face down. The R14 has a 360 deg rotating hinge to allow versatile use (the stereo audio switches sides according to the direction of the display). The 17″ V Nitro notebook was released a few weeks ago and is for gamers as well as productivity. The display is FullHD. It is expected to do well in Germany, where PC gaming is very popular. A feature is a new fan that blows dust out of the system as previous fan systems tended to draw dust into the system. This should help to extend product life.

Revo 1 is a new full power PC in an innovative industrial design. It is intended to be a home hub PC. The Switch 10 is being relaunched with a FullHD display with Gorilla Glass and now there is a Switch 11 that uses Core i processors and with a larger (11.6″) IPS display with “zero air gap”. Again it has Gorilla Glass. The Switch 12 also features a detachable keyboard. 12″ is a bit big for a tablet, so Acer calls it a 2-in-one notebook. Acer showed a video from Microsoft that supported the Switch series.

Turning to tablets, Acer has a new Iconia Tab W that is a Windows 8 tablet that has a quad core Intel processor and the tablet comes with Office 365 bundled. The Iconia One 8 has the IPS zero air gap display technology and Acer highlighted the display performance, which is great to see. The One 8 has an anti-fingerprint coating.

The Iconia Tab 10 has a FullHD display and the same display features as the One 8. The Tab 10 has uprated audio and a Dolby audio system.

Finally, the company looked at wearables and smartphones and Chen started with a video about Jade smartphones. The Jade product was previewed at Computex, but is now shipping in Europe. Acer says that the Jade is the smallest and lightest 5″ phone in the world. Again it has a zero air gap display and an F1.8 camera.

The Z500 is a 5″ HD phone with 8.65mm thickness and is also available already.

Acer has already announced the Leap wearable. Acer sees fashion, lifestyle and price as the key attributes. Acer is working on audio devices that help those that are hard of hearing. The wearables, of course, work across the Acer BYOC system.

From 2015, Acer will introduce from