Acer touts notebooks in KSA

Computer giant looks to build on its top spot in the Saudi notebook market with the introduction of its Sonoma machines.

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By  the Gitex Times Staff Published  April 13, 2005

Acer is heading to Riyadh for this year’s Gitex Saudi Arabia with a new batch of Sonoma notebooks in hand and a desire to build on its number one market position in the Kingdom. “Acer has been the number one notebook supplier in the Kingdom for 15 consecutive months, according to international analysts IDC,” says Philip Ashkar, sales & marketing director, Acer Computer Middle East. “We currently have over 26% market share, which means that one in every four notebook PCs sold in the country is Acer.” Visitors to this year’s show will have the opportunity to check out new Acer notebooks, which are built around the latest version of Intel’s Centrino technology, codenamed ‘Sonoma’. This technology offers users improved support for different wireless standards, faster CPUs and enhanced multimedia. “Visitors to our stand will be able to test a selection of the Sonoma models, which are aimed at both the home user and corporate sectors,” says Ashkar. “We will also be displaying our new Veriton desktop PCs, Altos server solutions and recently launched digital cameras,” he adds. This year is only the second time Acer has exhibited at Gitex Saudi Arabia, but the computing giant is convinced of the show’s importance and as such Acer is the only computing vendor to have its own stand at the 2005 show. “Gitex is the largest annual IT exhibition in the country and provides us with a unique opportunity to make direct contact with our target market,” says Ashkar. It is also, he claims, key to Acer expanding its reach in the Kingdom. “We noticed a significant increase in business following the last Saudi Gitex,” says Ashkar. “We expect that to be repeated this year. Gitex is the most important annual IT event in the country, and by participating directly, and not through our partners; we are demonstrating our continued commitment to the market.” This commitment is paying off for Acer as its Saudi business continues to boom. The vendor has reported triple-digit percentage increases in its year-on-year growth for PCs and notebooks in KSA. According to figures from IDC, the vendor recorded annual growth of 264% last year. Acer has a 26.6% market share for notebooks and 18.4% of the combined PC and notebook market. “Acer’s strategy of bringing the freshest technology to market, combined with its indirect sales strategy and its targeted marketing campaigns, have made it one of the leading players in the Middle East’s PC sector last year,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, regional director of IDC Middle East & North Africa. “Its notebooks in particular recorded extraordinary growth in 2004, to a position where it is now the first or second vendor in many countries across the region,” he adds. Acer’s Folio designed notebook PCs, launched during the second half of last year, helped drive sales across the Kingdom, and its Media Centre desktop PCs have also performed well as consumers turn to digital convergence technology. “The last 12 months have been a defining year for Acer in the Middle East,” says Emanuele Accolla, vice president for Europe, Middle East & Africa at Acer. “We have consistently taken market share away from our competitors across all areas of the business and have dominated the notebook sector in the region, to the extent that in Saudi Arabia alone we have been the number one notebook supplier for the last 15 months.”

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