Dell Inc.’s competitive position is improving in the global PC market, thanks to strong corporate sales as well as an unlikely helper: Apple Inc.’s iPad.
U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter solidified its hold on second place in the global PC business as No. 3 player Acer Inc. saw challenging conditions continue in the consumer markets, new IHS iSuppli research indicates. Acer’s decline was spurred by rising competition for its consumer-focused netbook and notebook computers from the iPad and other media tablets.
U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter saw its market share lead in unit shipments expand over Taiwan’s Acer to 1.9 percentage points, up from a 0.4 point gap in the third quarter. With Dell’s fourth-quarter shipments remaining flat compared with the third quarter, its market share lead was entirely due to a precipitous 12.9 percent drop for Acer.
“A little more than one year after a prolonged decline in shipments caused Dell to lose its customary second-place ranking to rival Acer, Dell now seems to have regained a firm hold on the No. 2 rank,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms, for IHS. “Acer in the third quarter of 2009 had surged to the No. 2 spot on the strength of its strong sales of netbook PCs to consumers and a generally buoyant consumer market. However, with momentum for consumer PCs waning and in light of growing competition from media tablets, Acer’s gains have been reversed.”
With Acer weakening and Dell’s core business in corporate markets holding strong, Dell managed to claw back into the No. 2 position in the second quarter of 2010. For the entire year of 2010, Dell edged out Acer for the No. 2 rank by 0.7 percentage points of market share.
A Record Quarter
Global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 amounted to 93.1 million units, up 5.7 percent from 88.1 million in the third quarter of 2010, and a 4.7 percent increase from 88.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. PC shipments during the fourth quarter hit a new quarterly record, blowing past the previous high of 88.9 million units set in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“With its record performance during the last three months of 2010, the worldwide PC business took another step toward becoming a market generating 100 million units per quarter,” Wilkins said.
While notebooks have been driving the PC market in recent years, the growth in the fourth quarter was due to the desktop segment.
“Desktop sales in the fourth quarter were buoyed by strong corporate demand,” Wilkins said. “The corporate PC segment continues to outperform the consumer market as companies replace systems with newer, faster, more efficient computers.”
A good Year
For the entire year of 2010, global PC shipments amounted to 345.4 million units, up 14.2 percent from 302.4 million in 2009.
“Back in the depths of the 2009 recession, the PC industry would have been happy if 2010 brought single-digit growth in shipments,” Wilkins said. “However, with the market coming back strong amid growth in the mid-teens, the PC industry will look back on 2010 as a year that exceeded expectations.”
Read More > On Course For A Strong PC Rebound in 2010