Acer continues to achieve growth amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published April 16, 2021, 9:09 AM

by Lionell Macahilig

Acer Inc. recorded a significant year-over-year (YoY) growth in different computing segments in the Asia Pacific region despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Acer Pan Asia Pacific President for Operations Andrew Hou shared the figures during the virtual press conference of the Asia-Pacific Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final.

The executive pointed out Japan and the Philippines as the two countries in the region that outperformed in terms of YoY growth in 2020. Japan recorded a 68% YoY growth, whereas the Philippines reached a 35% YoY growth.

Andrew Hou, Acer Pan Asia Pacific president for operations

PH, other countries drive growth

Based on the computing segments, Acer reported a 55% YoY growth for the thin and light segment, 34% for gaming, and 389% for the Chromebook segment.

Under Acer’s thin and light segment, the Philippines recorded the highest YoY growth at 43 percent, followed by Taiwan (40%), Indonesia (37%), Thailand (31%) and Singapore (27%), according to a GfK report.

Oceania, meanwhile, topped Acer’s gaming segment with a 99% YoY growth, followed by India (63%), Japan (52%), Hong Kong (36%), and Singapore (33%), based on the company’s internal data.

Internal data also shows that Vietnam dominated Acer’s Chromebook segment with a 100% YoY growth, followed by Thailand (93%), Indonesia (71%), Malaysia (56%), and India (42%).

Maintaining the momentum

This 2021, Acer’s outlook remains rosy for the Asia Pacific region amid the pandemic. The company is anticipating more than 50% first quarter YoY revenue growth in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore due to strong demand.

Acer also saw big tender wins during the first quarter of the year. In the Philippines, for example, the government has a tender worth $46 million in the pipeline. A portion of the tender consists of 60,000 units of laptops as the government needs them for the education sector.

Hou explained that most of the tenders were desktop PCs but they have been switching to notebooks since the end of last year as the pandemic pushed people to work and learn from home. “It’s because of the learn from home and work from home setup. All of the sudden, people realized that their notebooks are too old. The current setup has created opportunities and it was not what we expected. The demand is too strong,” he added.

Keeping the gaming hype

As the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop Acer from growing in terms of revenue, it also failed to stop the company from continuing to make the gaming ecosystem in the region active.

“Even though there is a pandemic and many people are under lockdowns and cannot go out, we want to maintain the hype in the gaming community. We still have a lot of online events to host to give young talents the opportunity to play, to learn, and to fight,” said Hou.

The recently concluded Asia-Pacific Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final is the first online-only iteration of the tournament since its introduction in 2019 and after a year of hiatus due to the pandemic. “It’s a learning point for Acer to do more online events. After the pandemic, a lot of events will be more virtual. It’s a good opportunity for Acer to learn how to host this kind of event,” he added.

The tournament ended with two winners for DOTA 2 and PUBG categories: Team Veteran from Myanmar, TNC Predator from the Philippines, DWG-KIA from South Korea, and Eagle 365 from Indonesia. The winning teams shared a prize pool of $240,000 and received the coveted Predator shields as a symbol of victory.

Bigger visions for the League

This year also saw the expansion of participating countries in the tournament. Hou expressed Acer’s intent to expand the league westward. “We’ll try to host European versions of Predator League involving select countries to do this event. If we can do that successfully, then we will try to spread it to other countries. We foresee a world champion and we are excited at Acer. Let’s do it with Europe first then with the United States,” he said.

Hou looked back and reiterated the larger vision of the league. “Three years ago, we decided to do the Predator League in the Asia Pacific because in the gaming ecosystem, we don’t want Acer as a hardware provider. We want to do more than that. We want to do the Predator League to give more room for young talents to grow and practice,” he said. In some countries, such as Taiwan and the Philippines, Acer has been working with campuses to achieve this objective.

He continued: “Three to four years ago, the Predator brand was not yet that popular in Southeast Asia. That’s when we decided to host the Predator League and we started to teach young talents and grow the market together. People began to realize that Predator is a brand for gaming and if you want to play games, you want to use Predator devices. We caught the right timing in Southeast Asian countries and that led to the success of Predator Gaming.”