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Acer shrinking product portfolio by two-thirds in 2012, bets growth on $699 ultrabooks

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Acer chairman and CEO J.T. Wang says he'll cut the company's product lineup by two-thirds in 2012. See Wintel platform taking off with $699 ultrabooks.

Acer products
Acer products

Acer Chairman and acting CEO J.T. Wang says that the company's product lineup will shrink by two-thirds in 2012 as it attempts to increase sales by 10 percent year-over-year. A cursory scan of Acer's US "notebook" portfolio reveals two TravelMate and Aspire series of products. The Aspire series, for example, is further divided into the Aspire, TimelineX, Ethos, and Aspire S brands, represented by 20, 11, 2, and 5 models, respectively, each lovingly adorned with names like S3-951-6646 (LX.RSF02.079). The TravelMate series introduces yet another 19 notebook models. Of course, Acer also makes 42 models of netbooks split across three families, a pair of Chromebooks, and countless tablets, desktops, monitors, projectors, smartphones, and more. So, while two-thirds sounds like a dramatic swing of the axe, Acer will still offer plenty of choice as the company restructures itself around profits and away from the "cheap" grab for marketshare that had been its approach under Acer's former CEO Gianfranco Lanci.

Wang also predicts that ultrabook pricing will drop to $699 in 2012 and create an era of renewed growth for the Windows on Intel ecosystem. Apple's growth will weaken in the next two years as a result, says Wang, while Google's efforts will stagnate, unable to achieve appreciable growth in the PC industry of the near future.