Following reports that Intel plans (but also formally denied) to offer a $100 subsidy on every ultrabook, Acer president Jim Wong said on Thursday that ultrabook prices will drop down to $499 USD in 2013.
According to Wong, the drop in price should begin sometime around 2Q12 where he expects the new form factor to retail for $799 to $899 USD -- a 20-percent price drop from the current price point. Presently the company is shipping 100,000 ultrabooks each month, but the number of units is expected to ramp up to 250,000 to 300,000 units by the end of December.
Wong also reports a positive outlook for 4Q11, as there are signs the company may actually break even during the quarter. To pull itself out of the red, the company began to aggressively diminish its European inventory during the second quarter of the year, reducing the level down from 80 day's worth of stock to just a mere 20 to 30 days.
As of December, the company still resides as the #4 notebook supplier. However Wong believes there's still a good chance to return to its former #2 position in 2012 by focusing on product quality and consumer demand rather than pushing shipment volumes. The company will also need to focus on its performance in China.
On Thursday, the Acer president addressed the current shortage of hard drives, stating that he expects the company to suffer a supply gap of only 10 to 15-percent in the fourth quarter. Additional sources indicate that this may be due to hard drive manufacturers prioritizing brand vendors, leaving retailers scrambling for the remaining units. Manufacturers have estimated an overall supply gap of 30 to 35-percent globally.