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Acer to Focus on Gaming and Premium Products, Will Launch E-Scooter This Year

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Michele Montecchio, General Manager at Acer Middle East, speaks about the opportunities 2023 will bring along

How was 2022 for the industry and your company?
Coming out of the pandemic, 2022 was a year of big changes. The average selling price for laptops and PCs in the market had reduced due to the reintegrated presence of lower configuration products PCs in the market. The year began with large stock levels in both consumer and commercial markets, which meant that we had to reduce our average selling price to sustain the growth of the number of units we were selling.

However, the situation leveled out to normal predictable levels towards the end of 2022. The PC market proved to be volatile throughout the year as it faced multiple uncertainties and slumps with increasing inflation. For Acer, this meant that we had to focus our resources on optimising our inventory levels and focus on growing segments, such as gaming, where we saw growth in multiple countries.

What sort of opportunities does 2023 bring along?
In 2023, we’ll have the opportunity to approach the year in a more strategic way. This opportunity comes as 2023 is set to have a more regulated stock situation, unlike 2022. We’ve just had our Global Press Conference, alongside CES, announcing the expansion of almost every product line.

Each line-up has been updated to satisfy the changing lifestyles of our consumer base in the post-pandemic era, including hybrid working. Moreover, our commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2035 was furthered this year by delivering exceptional products with an environmentally conscious design, and our work continues towards that as we venture into new initiatives provided by Acer’s multiple business engines.

Did you face any challenges in 2022?
The pandemic disrupted our production for two years, which challenged our full line-up availability in 2022. Fortunately, with strategic production planning, we managed to alleviate this issue in the first quarter of the year. We were able to serve all the markets in the Middle East at full potential.

However, this presented another challenge as all our partners across the region needed to be aligned on the right strategy. This required us to invest a great deal of face-to-face time with all partners to set up this strategy. It led us to favourable results but required remarkable energy from the whole team.

What were your key achievements in 2022?
Last year was full of achievements. Despite the struggles of a post-pandemic era, we were able to grow our presence among all retail consumers. We were able to capture the educational market as one of our main suppliers and expand our commercial presence as well. We participated in major trade fairs and gaming events such as GITEX and Dubai Esports Festival.

Moreover, we hosted our 13th edition of Acer Partner Week showcasing our Acer line-up to our regional partners and stakeholders, while celebrating their ongoing support for our journey, and together we discussed key growth areas and emerging market trends. Our proudest moment came later in the year when we were chosen to be a part of the CSR Arabia awards for the third year in a row and won the winning trophy in our category.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2023?
Through our internal research, we’ve noticed that the demand for ultraportable devices (such as thin and light notebooks) has risen significantly. The post-pandemic era has created hybrid work opportunities for most industries and because of that, consumers have started to prefer laptops that are portable and that fit their new lifestyle.

Furthermore, our research indicates that along with portability, these devices need to be powerful as well. As the content creation industry is on the rise, these mobile, yet powerful machines, have jumped in demand. Additionally, the gaming industry is now receiving its new expansion with 3D dedicated features to improve the gaming experience of a user and push the boundaries of innovation in the industry.

What will be your key focus areas for 2023?
In 2023, we aim to grow our high-end sales through gaming and premium products. We also aim to pursue our mission in serving and helping digital education. We’ve also recently introduced our e-mobility products and plan to expand that line up too.

What milestones have you set for 2023?
Our milestone set for 2023 is to push ourselves, as a company, toward our 2035 vision of 100% renewable energy. This vision will be pushed forward by our Earthion mission which strongly supports responsible, eco-friendly, and sustainable manufacturing of our products throughout the whole supply chain. This mission is best represented through Acer’s Aspire Vero line-up; a group of devices, including laptops and PCs, that is partially built from Post-Consumer Recycled plastics (PCR), which are recycled plastics that have been repurposed, to aid in our effort to reduce global waste.

For example, the Aspire Vero line-up is shipped in environmentally friendly packaging. The existence of these devices needs to be spread to our potential consumers that are eco-conscious so that they may make everyday decisions that support their beliefs.

What would you like to do differently in 2023, when compared with 2022?
Despite 2022 being a great year for us, it presented some key learnings as well. To evolve with the changing times, we would like to focus on and expand our digital presence and communications as well. We also aim for our brand to reach the most remote locations and have our product offerings available to everyone.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2023?
We’re introducing our e-mobility products and we’ll be launching an Acer E-scooter in 2023 as well. Our consumers have a lot to be excited about and should keep an eye out for our retail and online partners.

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Fitness

Acer Launches eKinekt Bike Desk

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Acer today announced the eKinekt BD 3 bike desk, a desk combined with a stationary bike to empower sustainable and healthier lifestyles. The eKinekt BD 3 lets users exercise as they work by using kinetic energy from the rider’s pedaling to power the machine and charge devices. The LCD display and a companion smartphone app provide information to help riders stay on track with their progress during exercise regimes or work periods.

Users can seamlessly adjust the bike resistance, seat, and desk height based on desired placement to provide added flexibility and comfort when working or training. The device is equipped with two USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port, a bag hook, and a beverage holder for added convenience whether in the office or in the comfort of home.

As the rider pedals, the eKinekt converts kinetic energy into an electric charge. One hour of constant cycling at 60 RPM on the bike desk can generate 75 watts of self-generated power. The useable energy is then utilized to charge laptops and other devices, so users can get work done and stay active at the same time. Embodying its long-term commitment to finding the balance between creating innovative solutions while protecting the planet, the eKinekt BD 3’s desktop and the casing that protects the bike’s components are made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.

The multi-function bike desk features two USB Type-A ports and a USB Type-C port, allowing for multiple mobile devices to be charged all at once. An LED charging indicator on the back of the bike lights up when pedaling, signaling that kinetic energy is being converted. The eKinekt’s wide desk surface provides the user with ample working space, while the adjustable table height and seat let them sit in a comfortable position at all times. For added convenience, it is designed with a bag hook that lets users easily hang their belongings and a designated beverage holder to stay hydrated and avoid spillage when on the bike.

In Working Mode, the desk surface moves closer to the chair to let riders sit in an upright position while typing and pedaling. In Sports Mode, the desktop sits further forward, giving more room to lean in, similar to the position on a standard bike or trainer, for added leg space and increased pedaling power. The well-thought design lets users take advantage of downtime in between work periods to stay energized and do some exercise within a small area. Riders can then seamlessly revert to Working Mode by just sliding the desk surface back into its original position.

The eKinekt’s user-friendly companion app provides real-time information to check riding duration, distance, and speed, while indicating the estimated number of calories burned and watts generated when pedaling. For more accurate tracking, riders can input personal information such as height, weight, gender, and age on their app profiles. It also records workout history for users to track their progress and compare results over time.

The eKinekt BD 3 will be available in EMEA in June, for $1139.99.

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Gadgets

HUAWEI Launches the MatePad SE in the UAE

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Huawei has launched the new MatePad SE in the UAE. It comes with a 10.4-inch 2K FullView Display, a powerful 6nm Octa-core processor, immersive sound, and a host of other smart features. The HUAWEI MatePad SE is available at a starting price of AED 599 on Huawei Experience Stores, E-shop and across select retailers in the UAE. It comes with gifts worth AED 397 including an original HUAWEI Flip Cover, a Special Huawei Gift Box, VIU-F App 6-month free subscription, and 12 months free Huawei Multi-Country Warranty Service.

The device offers a 10.4-inch 2K HUAWEI FullView Display with an 83% screen-to-body ratio, 2K resolution, and 225-pixel density. It also offers 4096-level brightness adjustment and it has passed TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker-free certifications.

The HUAWEI MatePad SE packs two speakers into its slim body, which generate sound from both the left and right to provide a wholly immersive listening experience. The tablet also adopts the upgraded Histen 8.0 that features auto-adaptable, context-based audio effects and fine-tuning.

The HUAWEI MatePad SE comes with Super Device features that allow you to manage your devices and connections from a single place and even share devices between accounts, making cross-device operations easier. The all-new Multi-Window feature turns the tablet into a standout multi-tasking tool by supporting up to four concurrent tasks. The new and improved App Multiplier feature allows you to open up to four ongoing tasks within a single app.

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Accessories

Sony Intros New Float Run Headphones for Runners and Athletes

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Sony has announced a new model of headphones designed with runners in mind. Sony’s new off-ear headphones Float Run, a novel headphone style that positions the speaker near, but without touching the ear canal, leaving the ear safely uncovered while still delivering a rich sound experience.

The Float Run headphones focus on the runner’s form, for a comfortable and stable experience without having to compromise sound quality. Float Run offers important features to runners or athletes, including a light-weight design with a flexible neckband that doesn’t slip when in motion, and a pressure-free design that sits off of the ears, so runners no longer need to worry about sweat or chafing getting in the way of their workout. This product was well received by crowdfunding, which led to its official launch.

With a special off-ear design, runners won’t have to worry about pressure or stuffiness on their ears. For extended comfort, the Float Run headphones sit on the ears of the wearer, so they can enjoy comfort for longer without disruption. Additionally, Float Run headphones only weigh approximately 33 grams, so runners can focus on their surroundings.

Designed to be stable and secure, Float Run headphones stay in place no matter how the runner moves. Tested on a wide range of head shapes and hairstyles, the headphones will stay with the runner, due to the flexible neckband design. Additionally, Float Run headphones were tested with accessories including hats and sunglasses. Whatever is worn, the stabilising neckband will keep them secure.

The 16mm drivers and precise tuning combined with the off-ear style offer a more natural and wider sound so there is no compromise on sound quality. The Float Run headphones have an open-type design that eliminates echo of the sounds your body makes, like footsteps, chewing, or heavy breathing, and allows ambient sound.

The Float Run headphones are designed to fill the user’s ears, but not cover them, so they can be aware of their surroundings. The Float Run design allows music to naturally mix with ambient sound and be formed by the user’s ear shape. Float Run off-ear headphones keep ears unobstructed, to achieve peak performance in whatever activity they are performing.

With an IPX4 water-resistant rating, consumers don’t have to worry about damage from sweat or from getting caught out in the rain. With long battery life and up to 10 hours of playtime when fully charged, the Float Run headphones will power long runs. In a hurry? A quick charge of 10 minutes will give an hour of play.

With a variety of controls built in, users can control playback and access their smartphone’s voice assistant without having to take it out of their pocket or bag[ Availability of function depends on the smartphone or app version.]. When their run is over and it’s time to get to work, the Float Run headphones have a high-quality built-in microphone to make them just as ideal for productivity tasks. Float Run headphones conveniently charge using USB-C. Additionally, the headphones include a carrying pouch to keep the supplied charging cable and headphones together and protected.

The Sony Float Run headphones will be available in the Middle East & Africa from February 2023.

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