Acer readies dual consumer and B2B push - PC Retail

Acer readies dual consumer and B2B push

Vendor puts the relaunched, strictly B2B Gateway brand in reseller's hands
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Acer is looking to give more control to resellers over the direction of the recently relaunched business-only Gateway brand of PCs, claiming the focused nature and limited number of partners will reduce inter-channel competition and boost profitability in the sector.

The firm claims keeping the amount of resellers it signs up as partners for the brand relatively small will have major benefits.

"It's the only B2B brand 100 per cent focused on the mid-market," said Kevin O'Donoghue, EMEA Gateway Division Product Business manager. "We will not sell products in any other type of channel, there's no channel pollution, and we will be able to work with dealers and VARs, who will have a heavy influence on the direction of the brand.

"It's not a numbers game; it's more to do with quality. For the first year we're looking at developing the positioning of the Gateway brand, so we'll only look to sign the number we can serve properly. We're not seeking to have thousands of partners just for the sake of the long list – it's a more focused approach."

Meanwhile, Acer is looking to capitalise on the massive boom in consumer netbooks it is predicting, after a strong year of growth in 2008.

While the recession will play a strong part in the proliferation of this cheaper category of PCs, Acer also claimed the devices are 'maturing' and will become increasingly better tailored to the way consumers wish to use technology.

"We do think an ever bigger proportion of the mobile business will be taken up by netbooks. We'll move from 10-15 per cent of the market to the region of 30 per cent of the market within a 12- 24 month period," said UK country manager Bobby Watkins. "As more people want to be online all the time, that's going to drive the proliferation of the netbook category.

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