Sure, Acer may be on track to sell more netbooks this year than Asus, despite the fact that Acer has only been selling tiny notebooks since this summer. But that’s not good enough for Acer. No, the company plans wants to more than double its shipments next year and grab up to 50% of the global netbook market.
In order to do that, Acer would have to ship between 12 and 15 million netbooks in 2009. Right now, Acer sells several versions of the Aspire One netbook with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU and an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel screen. The netbook is available with Linux or Windows XP, but there’s plenty of room for Acer to introduce new models in 2009, perhaps with larger displays and keyboards, or additional features like integrated GPS or eventually a dual core CPU. There are already some models with 3G modems available in some parts of the world, but not yet in the US.
Is it possible that Acer could double its netbook sales in 2009? Sure. The netbook market is still young. Not everyone who wants one has one, and an even larger number of potential customers may not even be aware that cheap ultraportable computers are available yet. Add to that the fact that Acer is projecting that it will ship 6 million netbooks in about half a year in 2008 and there’s no reason to think the company won’t be able to top that number next year, especially if new models are released that might convince early customers to upgrade.
But I somehow doubt we’ll see Acer grabbing a full 50% share of the market. If Acer is able to 12-15 million units, I would assume it would be because the market as a whole is growing. Even if Acer manages to make the Aspire One lineup the most popular netbook on the face of the earth, the company will have to fend off competition from Toshiba, Samsung, Asus, HP, Dell, and others. I have a hard time imagining any of those companies managing to conquer 50% of the market.