Acer's gaming portfolio drives double-digit growth in the Middle East
Paul Collins, general manager for MEA at Acer explains how the vendor's gaming portfolio is driving a record 94% growth in revenues across the region
Acer Middle East recently announced a steep growth in revenues in the Middle East with UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait leading in financial results amounting to double-digit growth in 2019 across the region. In a struggling market, Acer attributes this success to its gaming models (desktops, notebooks and monitors) as the company announced a record 94% growth in revenues in this segment.
Acer experienced strong growth in specific sub-segments including gaming, thin and light and chromebooks for the corporate and education sectors. “For 2020, we are introducing new products to cater to more growing sub-segments like creators with the launch of the ConceptD line as well as a specific series for working in harsh environments coming soon,” Paul Collins, general manager MEA at Acer told Channel Middle East.
“We see a surge in mobile gaming in the region. Also we see a strong growth in laptops. The consoles are still one of the favourite gaming devices in the region; however, we are starting to notice a rapid move to PCs as these are more flexible and have better response and higher graphics,” he added.
Acer has experienced a surge in demand for gaming products going to countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. According to the vendor, its sell-in revenue grew 29% in the UAE and 64% in the Gulf countries including Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.
Additionally, there has been significant growth in communities, gaming cafes as well as an increase in more specialised events taking place in the Middle East. Even schools have started to implement gaming into their curriculums. Collins explained that the education and gaming sectors are the company’s strongest drivers. This is backed by the move to more modern and light devices that are easy to carry and use on the move. “Acer is involved with several schools with gaming programs. We have the Planet 9 platform, our own gaming online university & talent development platform that is coming in Q2 this year to Middle East. Also we are working closely with Electronic Sports League (ESL) as they open their local offices in the Middle East,” he explained.
Commenting on the strong performance of the education segment, Collins said, “Our enhanced portfolio is specifically designed to provide students and teachers in education institutions with a more personalised experience. Our products have a proven track-record to increase productivity, efficiency and innovation in education. We recognise the importance technology plays in today’s classrooms and are committed to continue to deliver the right technologies to support the leaders of tomorrow.”
Collins raised concerns about the talent gap that exists in the industry, remarking how Acer has developed an online gaming university and talent development platform to battle this challenge. “The talent gap is a challenge because while there are many influencers, there is not enough formal talent exchange. There is a need for the development of formal gaming structures to improve talent. The Middle East is lacking in terms of the infrastructure for gaming – we need local gaming servers and talent development platforms. On a global level, Acer is the first to develop the Planet 9 platform, a worldwide online gaming university and talent development platform to give talent the support and mentorship they need. We are looking forward to have that platform open in MEA in Q2 this year.”
Collins also cites a recent study by global research company GFK, showed that Acer’s ultra-thin portfolio accounts for 75% of its sales in the UAE, 50% in KSA. On the other hand, Acer sellout quantities showed 24% growth in the wider region as a result of consumer preferences for thin, light, stylish and powerful computers. Results showed as well that there was 33.3% growth in acer notebook gaming range sell-out as per research by GFK, resulting in 24% market share in the UAE and 16% in KSA in that category.
Acer’s convertible Spin series that feature powerful innovation and design grew by 10% in the region while the strongest commercial vertical was the education segment with over 50,000 units (mainly Chromebooks) sold to schools and universities across the region. The company also sold four Predator Thronos valued at AED109,999 each to gaming enthusiasts in UAE and KSA, marking the highest number sold in the EMEA region.
“Acer’s performance is underpinned by our comprehensive regional growth strategy. The combination of strong execution and product competitiveness continues to be Acer’s strength in the region and globally. We are pleased to see our growth momentum amidst a complex and dynamic global environment. Our success is a testament to our commitment to innovation and our customers who continue to embrace our innovative technologies. We will continue to invest in our products and core competences to bring steady and sustainable returns in the long-term,” concluded Collins.