How Acer keeps its spot as No. 1 PC brand in PH for 10 years now

Acer has been dominating the personal computer (PC) market in the Philippines for the 10th consecutive year in 2018. Based on data released by global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the Taiwanese PC brand accounted for 20% of overall local PC shipments in 2018 (about 490,000 units of the total 2.45 million units shipped to the country).

Lenovo was trailing behind Acer at just 14% of the local PC shipments, while other competitors HP, Asus, and Dell accounted for 12%, 11%, and 10%, respectively.

Acer also ranked as No. 1 in terms of notebook PC shipments, commanding a 26% market share in the country in 2018. Lenovo and Asus both got a 20% share, while HP accounted for 15%, and Dell 10%. Acer has been ruling this PC market segment since 2006.

“The best is yet to come,” says Acer Philippines Managing Director Manuel Wong during The Next Frontier, a press event hosted by the company. Also in this photo are Acer Sales and Marketing Director Sue Cashmere Ong-Lim (left) and IDC Research Manager for Client Market Maciek Gornicki (right).

From the industry’s perspective
During the recent Philippines PC Market Overview, IDC Research Manager for Client Market Maciek Gornicki shared his analysis on why and how Acer maintains its top position through the years. “Multiple product offerings have been serving all market segments and that was a core strength of the brand,” he said.

Gornicki also cited other factors: value for money, strong position in the education market, and strong brand positioning.

The perspective from Acer itself reveals more about its market leadership. Tech and Lifestyle Journal personally sat down with Acer Sales and Marketing Director Sue Cashmere Ong-Lim to find out more about the company’s winning streak.

Acer’s market leadership perspective
“It wasn’t easy. There were aggressive competitors especially the second and the third players,” Ong-Lim said when asked about her take on Acer’s domination in the Philippines. “What we do is we really go back to basics. I believe that our strength lies with our partnership with our network of distributors and dealers. Relationships are important.”

At the same time, Acer has started going into rural areas. Ong-Lim revealed that Acer Philippines makes sure there is product availability and accessibility outside Metro Manila, a market that is already saturated. “Sometimes, the top factor is if your product is available instead of whether it is more affordable,” she said.

Acer Philippines is also actively studying the local market. It looks into consumer spending, behavior, and power to be able to adapt to the needs of the market. It has even started partnerships with micro-financing firms across the country to reach out to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Acer’s top markets outside NCR
Outside the National Capital Region (NCR), the Visayas region is showing the most aggressive market trait in terms of growth rate, followed by Mindanao and Southern Luzon, based on information shared by Acer Philippines.

For the provinces, Davao is the No. 1 market of Acer outside Metro Manila, followed by Cebu, Leyte (Tacloban), Iloilo, and the Bicol Region. Ong-Lim revealed that Tacloban has always showcased a strong PC refresh cycle even after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Iloilo is fast-rising due to the emergence of call centers in the province.

Notebooks are still Acer’s top selling products in the Philippines, particularly consumer notebooks that are Intel Core i3-based. Netbooks, which propelled sales to record highs in 2010 due to their practicality, now account for a small portion of the market, though still existing. This is proof of the observation that the Philippine PC market is changing.

The changing local market
“Before, the local PC market was really price-sensitive. In 2010, netbooks ruled and in 2014, sales were driven by the free software that came with PCs. But now, Filipinos are shifting into more powerful devices. They have greater spending power. Local consumers are now after the quality and aftersales service,” Ong-Lim explained.

“We make sure that our aftersales is efficient and effective. We now have over 100 service providers—our arms and legs. We can’t be there in all the inter-islands of the Philippines. But we make sure Acer itself operates its main service hubs in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao,” she concluded.