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Friday, April 01, 2011, 05:15 am PT (08:15 am ET)

Apple's success contributes to departure of Acer, Nokia, LG CEOs

The success of Apple's iPad has had a major impact on the netbook market, forcing the CEO of low-cost notebook maker Acer to resign. That follows the departures of top brass from two other Apple competitors, Nokia and LG.

Acer Corp. Chief Executive Gianfranco Lanci resigned Thursday, as his company looks to reorganize in an effort to take on the iPad and other tablets like it. The company hopes to find a permanent successor by the end of April.

Lanci's exist was put in context on Friday by DigiTimes, which noted that the impact from Apple products was a "key reason" for his departure. It was also said that Nokia's ex-CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who left in September 2010, and ex-CEO of LG Electronics Nam Young were both forced to leave "because of their inability to defend their companies from Apple's fierce competition."

Citing sources at Acer, the report noted that the iPad had a major impact on the netbook market in 2010. As a result, the company saw almost no growth in shipments for the year.

In addition, Acer is planning its own tablets to compete with the iPad and other devices in the market, but the report classified those products as "outmatched in terms of both hardware and software." It's the same story in the smartphone business, where Acer is said to be "incapable" of competing with brands like Apple.

"Since first-tier smartphone and PC brands are still unable to find an effective strategy to counter Apple's advance, with Lanci the most recent victim of Apple's assault, the sources believe executives of brand vendors such as Motorola, Sony, Toshiba, Asustek Computer and Lenovo are all in danger of being dragged off by the wave," the report said.

Just this week, Acer declared its intentions to "overhaul operations" in an effort to counter the success of the iPad. Stan Shih, founder of the Taiwanese PC giant, made the comments after his company reported two quarters with downward revisions of sales targets.

Acer's about-face is a change from last year, when the company's chairman predicted that Apple's "closed" iPad platform would drop to just 20 percent market share. Currently, Apple remains the dominant player in the touchscreen tablet market.