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PC demand is back, says Acer CEO who sees robust growth

Taiwan-based computer manufacturer Acer said that personal computer demand is rebounding, after hitting the bottom this year.

“We have seen the demand reach the bottom during about the May timeframe this year and ever since that, the demand has come back. For Q3, we have already seen year-to-year growth,” chairman and CEO Jason Chen told CNBC’s Emily Tan.

In the third quarter, Acer’s notebook revenue grew 19.4% compared to the previous quarter, while its desktop revenue grew 27.8% in the same period.

Acer is the world’s fifth-largest player in the PC market with a 6.4% market share, according to Canalys. China’s Lenovo leads with 22.9%, followed by HP (21.6%), Dell (16.6%) and Apple (11%).

The latest Canalys data showed the global PC market saw a slower decline in the second quarter, with total shipments of desktops and notebooks down 11.5% year-on-year to 62.1 million units. For the last two quarters, shipments declined by over 30%.

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The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in remote working and home-based learning, which in turn fueled demand for personal computers such as desktops, laptops and notebooks. But the boom in PC sales came to an end, when global PC shipments declined sharply in the first quarter of 2022.

An uncertain economic environment, with hiking interest rates and rising inflation, also caused consumers to rein in spending, impacting the sales of computers.

Established in 1976, Acer makes a range of PC and non-PC products including laptops, desktops and tablets. It also manufactures monitors, smart devices as well as electric bikes and scooters. Acer’s primary manufacturing base is in China, while it also produces in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and India, according to the firm.

“PCs today, together with the display business, monitor business, is contributing about two-thirds of our business. For the future, we believe depends on seasonality, but we think the non-PC area will go all the way up to one-third and maybe beyond,” Chen said in an interview aired Friday.

The Taiwanese tech firm is positive that the PC market will be “back to normal” by the fourth quarter.

“On Q4, we believe the PC [market] will come back to seasonality. First half will be less than 50%. And second half will be bigger than first half, for at least the foreseeable future,” said Chen.

“We [will be] basically back to normal. And the main reason for that is the inventory of the channel is pretty much depleted, at least for us in a healthy way.”

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