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Acer is a computer hardware and advanced electronics multinational corporation with its headquarters located in Taiwan. Instantly recognizable as the maker of laptop computers and notebooks, the company also makes tablets, televisions, servers, computer peripherals, smartphones and storage devices. More recently, it has diversified into IT services and cloud storage.
Acer was founded in 1976 in Taiwan by Stan Shih, his wife Carolyn Yeh and a few others. It is currently valued at $1.6 billion. The company's U.S. headquarters are located in San Jose, California. The Acer retail store in Taiwan is one of the largest computer stores in the world. In 2014, Acer was the fourth largest seller of personal computers in the world.
The Acer Group includes three brands -- Acer, Gateway, and Packard Bell. Acer's business operations are divided into two: the Device Business Group and Other Business Group. The Device group focuses on computer hardware, though this is now focused more on design, marketing and services, while manufacturing is done through contracts. The Other Business Group includes IT services, ecommerce and cloud hosting.
Acer defines its mission as breaking down the barriers between people and technology. Its stated brand values are curious, progressive and human, and it promotes these by making technology easily accessible to all.
Aced has earned a reputation for innovation, especially for its displays, TV and laptop screens. The hybrid netbook-tablet allows the user to snap off the keyboard to turn a compact notebook into a tablet. The sleek screens and overall appearance of business model notebooks are designed to appeal in a corporate environment. There are also the sturdier workhorse models, all with a reliability that has become synonymous with the brand.
Acer tablets, like the laptops, offer value and reliable functioning. Also like Acer laptops, they fall into two categories - the no-frills version and the innovative designs which compete with Apple's iPad and iPad mini. Acer TVs with curved widescreen offer panoramic views and a perfect high resolution image from any angle.
As the market for PCs has declined, Acer is moving into IT services and software, especially cloud services. Acer has pioneered BYOC or Build your own Cloud, which allows users to customize their own cloud storage, across devices and platforms. The personalized cloud storage lives on the user's own device, eliminating concerns about privacy that have dogged the concept of cloud storage despite its convenience. The ab series of software from Acer is designed for BYOC cloud storage.
BYOC represents a shift away from Acer's beginnings in computer hardware to The Internet of Things (IoT), or interconnected devices. Acer has announced plans for the aBeing laptop which will serve as a secure and portable platform for developers to literally code on the run. With estimates that the IoT market will be worth $1.7 trillion by 2020, Acer's shift means that it will be ahead of the game.
Acer has a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and has taken steps to ensure an environmentally-friendly supply chain. The company ranks high on the Guide to Greener Electronics list produced by Greenpeace. Since 2013 the company has undergone some restructuring and now has a new CEO. Stan Shih continues to serve as Honorary Chairman.