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Acer Surpasses Dell To Take Second Spot In PC Sales: iSuppli

Strong growth in Acer's PC shipments and a drop in Dell's PC shipments let Acer grab the number two spot in the top five PC sellers even as the overall PC market grew for the first time since last year.

iSuppli, an El Segundo, Calif.-based analyst firm, on Thursday released a report showing that a 16.6 percent year-over-year growth in Acer's third quarter 2009 PC sales allowed that company for the first time to jump ahead of Dell, which saw its PC shipments drop almost 6 percent during the quarter.

The change in ranking came at a time when the PC market actually grew compared to the third quarter of last year despite the economic downturn, iSuppli said.

For the third quarter 2009, the worldwide PC market reached a total of 79.9 million units shipped, up 1.1 percent from the 79.1 million units shipped during the same period of 2008.

That growth was strong enough to cause iSuppli to revise its 2009 PC unit shipment forecast to a 0.9 percent decline, compared to the previous forecast of a 4.0 percent decrease. Hewlett-Packard is still the world's largest PC company. iSuppli estimated HP shipped about 15.9 million units during the quarter, up 7 percent compared to last year. That was enough for a 19.9 percent market share, meaning that HP sold nearly one of every five PCs sold worldwide.

Acer came in at second by shipping 10.7 million PCs, up 16.6 percent from the 9.2 million PCs it shipped during the third quarter of 2008.

Dell fell to third place during the third quarter with a drop in PC sales of 5.9 percent to 10.3 million units, iSuppli said.

Lenovo's PC shipments grew even faster than those of Acer. The company shipped 6.9 million PCs in the third quarter of 2009, up 17.2 percent over the same period last year.

Rounding out the top five PC sellers was Toshiba, which shipped 4.0 million units in the third quarter, up 9.7 percent compared to last year.

iSuppli said in the report that the rise of Acer and Lenovo in the PC market are significant considering that Acer ranked sixth and Lenovo eighth in terms of global PC shipments in 2003.

The third quarter of 2009 saw unit shipments rise on a year-over-year basis for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008, as well as increased at the highest quarter-over-quarter rate since iSuppli began tracking the market in 2003.

Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms research at iSuppli, wrote in the report that these two milestones show the PC industry is recovering from the economic downturn.

"Notebook PCs were critical in driving growth on both a sequential or a year-over-year basis," Wilkins wrote. "In fact, during every quarter of the economic downturn—the worst since the Great Depression—notebook PC sales always managed to generate growth compared to the same period a year earlier. This is a testament to the high value that consumers and businesses place on their mobile computing platforms."

iSuppli also expects PC market growth for the fourth quarter of 2009. "With the start of the Christmas buying season and the arrival of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 7 operating system, the fourth quarter is likely to bring more good news for PC makers," Wilkins wrote.

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