By Clare Jim
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Acer Inc <2353.TW> expects up to 80 percent of its products to use touch-screen technology by next year or the year after, hoping new tablets and touch-notebook computers will revive its sales in a PC market where quarterly shipments are at their lowest in nearly four years.
Touch-screen models are expected to rise to 30-35 percent of total notebook PC sales at the world's No.4 PC vendor by the end of this year, up from 25 percent this quarter, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang told Reuters in an interview. The company shipped 1.2 million tablets in the January-March quarter and has a target of 5 million to 10 million for the whole year.
"Price and supply for touch panels provide some constraints now but that will ease and boost the penetration of touch devices," Wang, also Acer's chief executive, said on Monday ahead of the opening of Taiwan's annual Computex trade fair.
Research firm IHS has forecast that shipments of touch-enabled mobile PCs would grow rapidly starting this year, rising to about 25 percent of all notebooks by 2016, as prices fall and Intel Corp <INTC.O> makes a major push in the technology.
In smartphones, Acer on Monday introduced a 5.7-inch phablet running on Android that allows multitasking. Wang said its strategy would focus on phablets with more data-processing capability.
Wang expects the PC industry as a whole to see a decline in shipments this year but the notebook and tablet PC segments combined to grow 10 to 15 percent.
Market researcher Gartner said global PC Shipments in the first quarter dropped to their lowest since the second quarter of 2009. Barclays Capital forecast second-quarter notebook PC growth would be muted and might be the worst in 12 years, as the industry shifts to new products.
(Editing by Edmund Klamann)