Dell Held No. 2 Spot Ahead of Acer in Q3, as PC Market Recovers

While HP led the global PC market in Q3, Dell held its lead over Acer. The strongest performances, however, came from Lenovo and Asustek, which jumped ahead of Toshiba.

Dell, for the second straight quarter, held its lead over Acer during the global PC market's third quarter, market research firm iSuppli reported Dec. 7. The Texas PC maker, which remained in second place and was boosted by corporate PC sales, sold 11.3 million units, representing a growth of 7.2 percent over the 10.5 million it sold during the sluggish second quarter.

Year over year, Dell posted growth of 9.3 percent-a figure that looks extra substantial when compared with the vendors sandwiching it: Third-place Acer suffered a decline of 0.7 percent, while market leader Hewlett-Packard fell by 0.2 percent.

"Consumer PC sales growth slowed in the third quarter partly because back-to-school sales were lower than expected," Matthew Wilkins, an iSuppli principal analyst, said in a statement. "However, since the second quarter, corporate demand for desktop PCs and entry-level servers has been strong, driven by companies' efforts to replace systems with newer, faster, more efficient computers. Dell has a higher mix of corporate business to the market than HP and Acer and therefore was less exposed to the consumer slowdown."

Lenovo finished in fourth place, putting in an impressive performance. With year-on-year growth of 32.9 percent, it shipped 9.2 million units during the quarter, up from 8.3 million the quarter before and 6.9 million a year earlier.

"This means that during every 2010 quarter, the company has so far achieved year-over shipment growth in excess of 30 percent," stated the report, which in part attributed Lenovo's strong sales to growing domestic interest in China.

Also putting in a strong showing was Taiwan's Asustek, which claimed the final spot in the top-five ranking, pushing competitor Toshiba into sixth place. Asustek, posting year-on-year growth of 29 percent, shipped 4.8 million PCs during the quarter, up from 4.2 million during the second quarter and 3.7 million a year earlier.

In all, worldwide PC shipments totaled 88.1 million units during the quarter, up 6.7 percent from the 81.6 million units of the quarter before, and up 10.3 percent from the third quarter of 2009, during which 79.9 million units shipped.

"The second quarter of 2009 was a terrible period for the PC market, but the following three months marked the beginning of the recovery, representing the first quarterly period in 2009 when shipments grew on both a sequential and year-over basis," said Wilkins. "Because the third quarter of 2009 was stronger, the year-over-year growth rate in the third quarter of 2010 appears weaker than it was during the second quarter of 2010."

Underscoring the corporate sector's contribution to the market's growth, desktop PC shipments rose by 11 percent sequentially, compared with the 4.2 percent increase posted by notebooks.

In the more specialized market of workstations, HP also finished ahead of a Dell, Jon Peddie Research reported Dec. 7. HP garnered 40.5 percent market share during the quarter, to Dell's 37.5 percent-a difference JPR called an "appreciable gap," in a market where the two generally compete neck-and-neck.