Acer’s president, Gianfranco Lanci has used the vendor’s global press conference in Madrid to outline its channel strategy for the upcoming year.
Lanci revealed that Gateway had since asserted its right of first refusal on behalf of Acer saying: "It’s acquisition is on-going". When asked whether he would comment on suggestions that it had paid close to the same amount as it had for Gateway, he refused to talk specifics but did say: "We’re not talking about hundreds of millions."
He said that Acer was aiming to have both deals completed and the brands integrated into the vendor by no later than January 1st 2008. He also stated that Acer would not be making any further purchases for the next 24-36 months.
Asked to clarify the use of each of the brands, he said that Acer was currently considering the future positioning of each and would announce which would be used for what purpose in time.
"Our channel strategy will be very different from our competitors. The market is changing where users have different needs for our products," he said. "We do not want to confuse our customers and think that multiple branding is the future. One brand is no longer good enough to address user needs."
However, one insider we spoke to off the record said that it was likely Acer would be retained for the business and server side of the business, while depending upon region one or two brands would be positioned at certain markets.
In the UK, it was suggested Packard Bell would be positioned as Acer’s entry level models while another could be used for the vendor’s gaming specific brand.
Lanci also asserted that EMEA is and will remain Acer’s most important market, with it accounting for the majority of its revenue for the current year. He also said that the addition of Packard Bell and Gateway would help to strengthen the company’s position in Europe.
Expanding upon the issue, he said that the UK remains a key market and is one of the few were Acer isn’t among the top vendors, stating that it intended to change that and hoped that its acquisition of Packard Bell, which has strong channel links with DSGi, would help to rectify it.
He also confirmed that Acer has no intentions of entering direct sales.