Acer hoses down HTC merger rumours as global PC market falls for the seventh consecutive quarter

Troubled PC maker Acer has hosed down speculation of a possible merger with HTC, as new figures from market research firm Gartner showed a further contraction in the global PC market.

Acer chairman Stan Shih told DigiTimes his company has no plans to merge with the embattled smartphone maker, contrary to recent rumours.

Speculation of a possible merger between HTC and Acer emerged after the smartphone maker reported its fourth-quarter sales were down a remarkable 42.46% year-on-year amid reports of production line closures.

In November, Acer announced its consolidated revenues for the third-quarter of 2013 fell 11.8% year-on-year to $US3.11 billion, resulting in an operating loss of $US86.6 million.

The Taiwanese computer giant, which trades under the Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell, Founder, iGware and ETen brands, also booked a $US335.1 million writedown, for a total after-tax loss of $US442.19 million.

Following the announcement, Shih took over as interim chairman and president, following the resignation of former chief executive JT Wang and president Jim Wong.

Chen was subsequently appointed as chief executive in the days leading up to Christmas, and will unveil the company’s operations strategy next week.

The news came as Garner released new figures showing the global PC market contracted for the seventh consecutive quarter during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Total worldwide shipments for the quarter fell 7.5% year-on-year to 15.795 million units, down from 17.068 million units for the same quarter last year.

The horror quarter capped off a disastrous year for the sector, with full-year shipments for 2013 falling to 315.9 million units, down 10% from 351 million for 2012.

However, Acer’s declines were far worse than the industry average, with its full-year shipments collapsing a massive 28.1% from 35.7 million units in 2012 to just 25.6 million for 2013.

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