Acer Inc. in 2009 came within a hair’s breadth of supplanting Dell Inc. as the world’s No.-2 PC maker, as the Taiwanese computer maker achieved leading growth among the world’s Top-5 brands for the year, according to iSuppli Corp.
No.-3 ranked Acer enjoyed a 21 percent expansion in 2009, with its global PC unit shipments rising to 38.5 million, up from 31.8 million in 2008. This represented the strongest growth among the world’s Top-5 PC makers in 2009.
In contrast, U.S.-based Dell suffered a 9.9 percent drop, with its shipments declining to 38.96 million in 2009, down from 43.3 million in 2008. Dell was the only Top-5 PC brand to post a decline in shipments for the year.
Due to these divergent performances, Dell ended 2009 with only a 0.2 percentage point lead over Acer, down from 3.8 points in 2008, allowing the U.S. PC OEM to hold the second rank by only the sparest of margins.
“Acer’s 2009 success was driven by the notebook PC market,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms research, for iSuppli. “Notebooks accounted for nearly 80 percent of Acer’s shipments in 2009. This allowed the company to capitalize on the fast-growing mobile-computing segment while limiting its exposure to the moribund desktop segment.”
Acer in 2009 achieved a 28 percent increase in shipments of notebook PCs for the year, compared to a 20 percent rise for the overall market.
“Acer owes its strong notebook success to the fact that it is covering the key bases well, with a strong portfolio encompassing both regular laptops and netbooks,” Wilkins said.
Acer also managed to limit its losses in the desktop market. Company desktop shipments were flat in 2009, declining by a scant 0.1 percent, compared to a 15 percent drop for the entire market.
In contrast, Dell’s desktop PC shipments fell at a greater rate than the overall desktop segment. Furthermore, its notebook shipments grew at a much lower rate than that of the overall market. Dell’s share of the global PC market has dwindled in recent years, declining to 12.9 percent in 2009, down 4.2 points from 17.1 percent in 2005.
The Big Get Bigger in 2009—Mostly
For the full-year 2009, four of the Top-5 PC OEMs grew at rates higher than the overall industry. No.-1 ranked HP grew by 7.4 percent, whereas No.-3 Acer, No.-4 Lenovo and No.-5 Toshiba Corp. expanded by 21 percent, 14.2 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively. Only No.-2 Dell suffered a decline in shipments for the year.
In a surprisingly strong result, the global PC market managed to eke out marginal growth in 2009. Despite severe economic turmoil in 2009, PC shipments defied expectations to reach 302.3 million units, up 1 percent from 299.2 million in 2008.
No Change to Top PC Rankings in Q4
The rankings of the Top-5 PC makers remained the same in the fourth quarter compared to the third.
Hewlett-Packard Co. retained its No.-1 ranking in the fourth quarter of 2009, with shipments of 17.2 million and a market share of 19.4 percent. While Acer was No.-3 for the entire year, the company held the second position in the fourth quarter, with shipments of 11.9 million units and a market share of 13.4 percent. The company also took second place in the third quarter.
Dell Inc. held its third-place ranking in the fourth quarter with shipments of 10.8 million, giving the company a market share of 12.2 percent.
Rounding out the Top-5, were Lenovo and Toshiba, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with market shares of 8.9 and 5.3 percent.
Global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2009 amounted to 88.8 million units, up 14.4 percent from 77.6 million units during the same period in 2008.
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