Outlook 2023: Acer to Focus on Gaming and Premium Products
Michele Montecchio, General Manager at Acer Middle East, speaks about the opportunities 2023 will bring along
How was 2022 for the industry and your company?
Coming out of the pandemic, 2022 was a year of big changes. The average selling price for laptops and PCs in the market had reduced due to the reintegrated presence of lower configuration products PCs in the market. The year began with large stock levels in both consumer and commercial markets, which meant that we had to reduce our average selling price to sustain the growth of the number of units we were selling.
However, the situation leveled out to normal predictable levels towards the end of 2022. The PC market proved to be volatile throughout the year as it faced multiple uncertainties and slumps with increasing inflation. For Acer, this meant that we had to focus our resources on optimising our inventory levels and focus on growing segments, such as gaming, where we saw growth in multiple countries.
What sort of opportunities does 2023 bring along?
In 2023, we’ll have the opportunity to approach the year in a more strategic way. This opportunity comes as 2023 is set to have a more regulated stock situation, unlike 2022. We’ve just had our Global Press Conference, alongside CES, announcing the expansion of almost every product line.
Each line-up has been updated to satisfy the changing lifestyles of our consumer base in the post-pandemic era, including hybrid working. Moreover, our commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2035 was furthered this year by delivering exceptional products with an environmentally conscious design, and our work continues towards that as we venture into new initiatives provided by Acer’s multiple business engines.
Did you face any challenges in 2022?
The pandemic disrupted our production for two years, which challenged our full line-up availability in 2022. Fortunately, with strategic production planning, we managed to alleviate this issue in the first quarter of the year. We were able to serve all the markets in the Middle East at full potential.
However, this presented another challenge as all our partners across the region needed to be aligned on the right strategy. This required us to invest a great deal of face-to-face time with all partners to set up this strategy. It led us to favourable results but required remarkable energy from the whole team.
What were your key achievements in 2022?
Last year was full of achievements. Despite the struggles of a post-pandemic era, we were able to grow our presence among all retail consumers. We were able to capture the educational market as one of our main suppliers and expand our commercial presence as well. We participated in major trade fairs and gaming events such as GITEX and Dubai Esports Festival.
Moreover, we hosted our 13th edition of Acer Partner Week showcasing our Acer line-up to our regional partners and stakeholders, while celebrating their ongoing support for our journey, and together we discussed key growth areas and emerging market trends. Our proudest moment came later in the year when we were chosen to be a part of the CSR Arabia awards for the third year in a row and won the winning trophy in our category.
According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2023?
Through our internal research, we’ve noticed that the demand for ultraportable devices (such as thin and light notebooks) has risen significantly. The post-pandemic era has created hybrid work opportunities for most industries and because of that, consumers have started to prefer laptops that are portable and that fit their new lifestyle.
Furthermore, our research indicates that along with portability, these devices need to be powerful as well. As the content creation industry is on the rise, these mobile, yet powerful machines, have jumped in demand. Additionally, the gaming industry is now receiving its new expansion with 3D dedicated features to improve the gaming experience of a user and push the boundaries of innovation in the industry.
What will be your key focus areas for 2023?
In 2023, we aim to grow our high-end sales through gaming and premium products. We also aim to pursue our mission in serving and helping digital education. We’ve also recently introduced our e-mobility products and plan to expand that line up too.
What milestones have you set for 2023?
Our milestone set for 2023 is to push ourselves, as a company, toward our 2035 vision of 100% renewable energy. This vision will be pushed forward by our Earthion mission which strongly supports responsible, eco-friendly, and sustainable manufacturing of our products throughout the whole supply chain. This mission is best represented through Acer’s Aspire Vero line-up; a group of devices, including laptops and PCs, that is partially built from Post-Consumer Recycled plastics (PCR), which are recycled plastics that have been repurposed, to aid in our effort to reduce global waste.
For example, the Aspire Vero line-up is shipped in environmentally friendly packaging. The existence of these devices needs to be spread to our potential consumers that are eco-conscious so that they may make everyday decisions that support their beliefs.
What would you like to do differently in 2023, when compared with 2022?
Despite 2022 being a great year for us, it presented some key learnings as well. To evolve with the changing times, we would like to focus on and expand our digital presence and communications as well. We also aim for our brand to reach the most remote locations and have our product offerings available to everyone.
Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2023?
We’re introducing our e-mobility products and we’ll be launching an Acer E-scooter in 2023 as well. Our consumers have a lot to be excited about and should keep an eye out for our retail and online partners.