Acer Australia who has a new management team following the exit of Charles Chung is set to take advantage of the big rise in demand for cloud based applications such as Office 365 and in the production market Adobe’s Creative Suite with a new range of tablets, convertibles, notebooks, and Chromebooks that are specifically engineered to operate in the cloud.
There is also speculation that the Company could also launch smartphones and a new Liquid Leap wristband which was shown in New York this week.
In Australian Darren Simmons the new CEO of Acer Australia has said that Acer Australia is now under new management and that the business is being repositioned to take advantage of demand for cloud based computing services. He said that Acer will shortly initiate new marketing programs and introduce new products among them products that have already won design awards at the 2014 CES show.
Acer’s build your own “Build Your Own Cloud” initiative comes as PC Companies like Toshiba who are witnessing a significant decline in consumer PC sales move to 4K display notebooks to flog their new range of notebooks.
With the new Acer notebooks consumers will be able to store all of their content in the Cloud and share it between connected devices.
The Cloud push is one of the new directions the company has chosen to broaden its appeal to Generation Y consumers, which is a key demographic singled out by Jason Chen, Acer’s new CEO and president.
Speaking at a New York media event Chen who was appointed four months ago to stabilize the company he has initiated a with a 100-day plan under which the company is moving forward with a focus on identifying and capitalizing on its key strengths.
Acer, he said, is looking to build new pockets of opportunity in an otherwise stagnating global PC market, and to look for opportunities “beyond PC”.
Acer showed a new Liquid Leap wristband designed to offer fitness tracking and light data notifications, among other things. Plans for the Australian market were not revealed.
The company’s two-fold strategy will employ offering a Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) initiative that reframes Acer’s vision for the “Internet of Things” by enabling customers to seamlessly integrate their PC and mobile devices with real-time syncing, and to control and access their own personal devices and data.
Acer devices will ship with BYOC capability built in.
Acer said it will also strengthen its strong hardware presence and accelerate market share growth through a “Connected Devices” strategy. This will include improved end-to-end alignment and a new energy in the smartphone and tablet markets, which Acer called “key pillars” for in its PC market leadership.
On the hardware front, Acer is also building on its successful presence in Chromebooks, with plans for the first Intel Core i3 powered unit.
Acer plans to launch the Liquid Leap wristband as a stand-alone item in the Asia, European and Asia Pacific markets and then bundle it with some of its newly introduced Liquid J Android smartphones in other applicable markets.
The Leap measures 17mm wide and is designed to provide personal health tracking and some data readout. It will be available in limited markets as a bundle with its newest flagship smartphone, the 5-inch Liquid J.
Both the Liquid Leap and J are expected to launch in late July or early August.
The company also unveiled its latest notebook lines, including the Acer Aspire Switch 10, a two-in-one 10-inch Windows 8.1 notebook.
The Switch 10 features an HD IPS screen, 2GB RAM, 64GB storage and dual speakers, it will be significantly cheaper than the new Toshiba 4K notebook range which kicks in at the bottom end at $1699.
The new Acer notebook has been billed as a notebook and tablet combined in one flexible device with four configuration modes for touch, typing, viewing and sharing. The smart device features a magnetic detachable Acer Snap Hinge design for easy transition between modes, latch-free keyboard docking, and optional additional storage capabilities.
Acer also showed new additions to its E-series notebooks, including the E14 and E15, which offer the option of touchscreen functionality. The 15-inch model comes with up to seven hours of battery life and multi-gesture touchpad.
Pricing on the E14 and E15 notebooks will start at around the A$399 mark with six colour options when they ship in June.
For those who prefer a smaller product, Acer showed the Aspire E11 with an 11.6-inch screen, also expected for June delivery.
Acer has also shown a new Iconia Tab 7, a quad-core tablet with voice, HD IPS display, and 3G connectivity.
In Chromebooks, Acer showed a new touchscreen C720, including an Intel Core i3 64-bit, dual-core 1.7 GHz CPU, billed as the “most powerful” Chromebook on the market.
Details were lean, but the new C720 will come in both touch and non-touch options with an 11.6 inch display, 16GB built-in storage, HDMI port and SD card reader.
Chromebooks, was one example Chen pointed to as a growth pocket, along with mobile devices – an area Chen compared to the growing PC business 20 years ago when Acer was starting out.
Also shown was a 23-inch touchscreen all-in-one with dual digital microphones and a FullHD forward-facing wide-angle camera, for Skype and similar applications. The Windows 8.1-running touchscreen U5-620 has anti-fingerprint coating, flexible viewing angles, Dolby Digital Plus audio. It will accept an optional Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card. It will ship in June.