Acer rings the bell as it takes on PC market

PC vendor Acer will introduce its Packard Bell brand to the Middle East this month, signalling the arrival of a ‘multi-brand strategy' that the company's global and local management regard as a major weapon in its arsenal.

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By  Julian Pletts Published  October 12, 2008

PC vendor Acer will introduce its Packard Bell brand to the Middle East this month, signalling the arrival of a ‘multi-brand strategy' that the company's global and local management regard as a major weapon in its arsenal.

A year after the IT world saw notebook giant Acer fend off competition from Lenovo to acquire Packard Bell and Gateway, the Acer Group has detailed its vision for a "multi-brand strategy" that it confidently predicts will enhance its position in a crowded PC market.

Given the company now has several brands under its roof, Acer believes it is well-placed to take ongoing issues such as commoditisation and aggressive market pricing in its stride.

It argues that a single-brand PC vendor cannot cover the whole market and adds that its breadth has also allowed it to highlight a gap in the notebook sector for mobile internet users - a market that it hints it may explore in the future as it looks to expand.

Acer plans to roll out its Packard Bell brand in the Middle East this month and Gianfranco Lanci, CEO and president at Acer, defines six distinct customer segments he is looking to cover.

This ranges from high-end ‘tech leaders' with discerning tastes and a pocket to back it up, through to ‘conventional' middle-of-the-range users and price-focused ‘simple and easy' users.

"Acer, Gateway and Packard Bell are three distinct identities of a single group whose objective is to expand the variety of its product range," said Lanci. "The three companies will integrate their own unique experience and abilities to offer a broad range of products that allow customers to find solutions for their uniquely personal needs."

It must be noted that Acer has no plans to launch Gateway in the Middle East as it would potentially overlap with Packard Bell and typically has more traction in the US anyway. That means the vendor's Middle East management is firmly focused on the Packard Bell brand.

But, with the PC market already very cramped, is there really room for another brand?

Acer's CEO seems to think so, insisting that while Acer's Aspire One plays to the low-end mobile PC and netbook market, the Packard Bell brand and Acer's Predator laptop are shooting for the high-end, tech leader segment.

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