January 29, 2013, 7:12 AM — Acer's still hoping for Windows 8 sales to take off, but in the meantime, the company has been pleasantly surprised with sales of its Chromebooks.
Since November, Chromebooks have accounted for 5% to 10% of Acer's U.S. shipments, Acer President Jim Wong told Bloomberg. The company is now considering expanding Chromebook sales to other developed markets.
Along with Samsung, Acer was the first company to sell Chromebooks in 2011, but the browser-based operating system was still rough around the edges at the time, and the hardware wasn't much less expensive than comparable Windows machines.
The software has improved since then, and in November, Acer launched a $200 Chromebook, with an 11.6-inch display, Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hard drive. Samsung sells Chromebooks for $250 and $450, and Lenovo recently announced a rugged Chromebook for schools.
Wong praised Chromebooks for being "more secure," and said he hopes corporations will show interest.
Still waiting on Windows 8
But while Chromebooks have been a relative success, Acer isn't as pleased with Windows 8 sales so far. The company's total PC shipments dropped by 28% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, despite the launch of Microsoft's latest operating system.
"Windows 8 itself is still not successful," Wong said. "The whole market didn't come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that's a simple way to judge if it is successful or not."