Acer Buys Gateway: Benefit from the Price War

Gateway is the 3rd largest PC vendor after HP and Dell and right before Lenovo. Acer is now purchasing Gateway and this puts the new Acer in 3rd place – ahead of Lenovo I believe.
I have very fond thoughts of Gateway.
Many years ago, I was looking at someone’s computer, and they had a very old Gateway computer (at that time). I called Gateway with the old dusty computer opened up and after giving the support rep, the computer’s serial number, I got help with no questions asked. This is the fond memories I have of Gateway.
I also remember the launch of Gateway’s retail stores in NYC. Some time later they closed the stores, but they tried.
The PC market is shifting and only the strong and innovative will survive.
In 1999 Gateway’s stock was at $81.50, now Acer is buying Gateway at a premium of $1.90 a share according to the International Herald Tribune. Quite sad at how far this company has fallen. On the other hand, though, there’s a lot of great companies who have low stock price but are cash flow positive and doing well – although Wall Street rates them low in the game of “stock selling and buying”
With Acer buying Gateway, what does this mean to you?
Well it means that you are going to benefit from a fierce price war between Lenovo and Acer for sure. Dell has always been a price leader, but I’m not sure how competitive they are going to play in the war.
The asset Dell does have, but does not leverage enough is their small business, consumer and larger customers who buy from them direct. Dell has a 100% database on who their customers are (except for the smaller share of computers that are bought for customers by local consultants). Dell does not reach out to these existing customers enough and should leverage its database more and with more innovative services to them. Sure Dell, like all vendors sends out email and paper direct mail, but I mean beyond this – custom technology assets for its customers.
What will HP do? Right now (I stress the word now) it’s in a pretty good position. It’s printer business has been rejuvenated and its PC business is going well. It’s got an army of resellers, strong retail push and a quite visible brand – it has to only stay price competitive and keep offering more products, more services, and innovate in printing and the PC.
From what I’m reading HP has the upper-hand in the market (right now), it’s up to Dell, Lenovo and now Acer to take that market share down several notches.
I think that a key area of growth is going to be services – in the small business area. Helping small businesses and their consultants do more with the technology they have and helping them buy more technology as they need it. Maybe a PC vendor buying a joining with CDW or Best Buy would be interesting?
What do you think?