Acer shifts to IoT with enterprise focus

Acer has been focusing less on PCs, and more on enterprise and cloud products

Acer, Canonical Marvell, and Hipad executives announcing their partnerships.

Acer, Canonical Marvell, and Hipad executives announcing their partnerships.

Acer is still producing PCs, but the Taiwanese vendor is far more bullish about the Internet of Things (IoT), a market the company doesn't want to miss out on.

On Thursday, the Taiwanese vendor held a news conference not for a new consumer product, but to promote an upcoming miniature PC that will be sold to developers.

The PC, called the aBeing One, will arrive in the third quarter, and is aimed at developers working in the IoT area. It's designed to connect to smarthome and wearable products, and act as a hub that can analyze incoming data from the devices.

The PC vendor has spoken to many IoT companies looking for an affordable hardware system they can develop on, said Robert Wang, a general manager with Acer.

"Fast moving IoT developers keep running into this issue," he said after Acer's news conference. "Now they can buy from us."

It's a big change for the vendor, given that it once focused on selling consumer notebooks. However, with PC sales sagging and competition rife in the mobile devices area, the company has been shifting toward enterprise products.

That emphasis was apparent at this week's Computex show in Taipei. Acer notebooks and tablets were still on display, but equal billing was given to its cloud computing business, which is starting to power IoT devices, not only from Acer, but also its clients.

On Thursday, Chinese manufacturer HiPad said it had selected Acer to help it run its smart appliances, including an Internet-connected kettle. HiPad aims to sell the products in international markets.

In addition, Acer is hoping to pave the way for more third-party IoT devices. It has partnered with Canonical to install a version of Ubuntu on its aBeing product, so that the hardware can serve Ubuntu developers working on smart connected gadgets.

Acer is not the only one making a bet on the Internet of Things: It seems that the whole IT industry is hoping it will become the next big growth driver.

Research firm IDC predicts the market will reach US$1.7 trillion by 2020, up from $656 billion last year.

Wang expects the IoT market to start taking off in two or three years. "Preparing for this business represents a very critical moment for us," he said. "Otherwise, we will be too late."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags computexconsumer electronicsInternet of Thingshardware systemsinternetacer

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?