Acer Inc. is a Taiwanese multinational hardware and electronics corporation headquartered in Xizhi, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Acer’s products include desktop and laptop PCs, tablet computers, servers, storage devices, displays, smartphones and peripherals. It also provides e-business services to businesses, governments and consumers. Acer is the fourth largest PC maker in the world.
In the early 2000s, Acer implemented a new business model, shifting from a manufacturer to a designer, marketer and distributor of products, while performing production processes via contract manufacturers.
In addition to its core business, Acer also owns the largest franchised computer retail chain in Taipei, Taiwan.
Acer was founded by Stan Shih, his wife Carolyn Yeh, and a group of five others as Multitech in 1976, headquartered in Hsinchu City, Taiwan.
It began with eleven employees and US$25,000 in capital. Initially, it was primarily a distributor of electronic parts and a consultant in the use of microprocessor technologies. It produced the Micro-Professor MPF-I training kit, then two Apple II clones; the Microprofessor II and III before joining the emerging IBM PC compatible market, and becoming a significant PC manufacturer. The company was renamed Acer in 1987.
In 1993, Acer posted record profits of $75 million; 43 percent of that year’s net was generated by the DRAM joint venture, considered “the most efficient in the DRAM industry” by some observers. Total sales grew to $3.2 billion in 1994, and net income increased to $205 million, as Acer America turned its first annual profit in the 1990s. From 1994 to 1995, Acer advanced from 14th to ninth among the world’s largest computer manufacturers, surpassing Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Toshiba.
In 1995, the Aspire PC was unveiled. In 1996, Acer expanded into consumer electronics, introducing many new, inexpensive videodisc players, video telephones, and other devices to boost global market share, and in 1997 extended its laptop efforts by buying Texas Instruments’ mobile PC division.
Considering two consecutive quarters of net losses in Q2+Q3 2011 and realization they are selling too many products; 101 individual notebook, netbook and chromebook SKUs in the United States alone, Acer will cut product lines by two thirds beginning in 2012.