HP Still Top PC Maker as Acer Passes Dell in Third Quarter

HP remains the world's top PC maker, according to IDC's analysis of third-quarter desktops and laptops. The same report showed that Acer has now passed Dell to become the second-most popular global PC maker. Overall, PC shipments increased about 2 percent year over year, which is a good sign for the industry as the Windows 7 launch date approaches.

Hewlett-Packard remains the world's top PC maker, but Acer has now passed Dell as the second most popular producer of desktops and laptops, according to an Oct. 14 from IDC.

In the third quarter of 2009, HP shipped more than 15 million PCs worldwide-an increase of about 9 percent from the third quarter of 2008. At the same time, Acer shipped nearly 11 million PCs in the third quarter, an increase of 25 percent compared with a year ago. That total pushed the up-and-coming Taiwanese company past Dell for the No. 2 spot on the IDC list.

For its part, Dell shipped more than 9 million PCs globally in the third quarter. HP and Dell still remain the two top PC makers in the United States. In the third quarter, HP shipped 4.4 million PCs in the United States, while Dell shipped 4.3 million.

Overall, HP, Dell, Acer and other PC manufacturers shipped 78.1 million PCs in the third quarter of 2009, an increase of 2.3 percent compared with the third quarter of 2008. The results could be a boon for the worldwide PC industry, which saw shipment declines of 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and 2.4 percent in second quarter.

In a separate report, Gartner found that global PC shipments increased less than 1 percent between the third quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2008. Gartner originally forecast a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline for the third quarter.

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Once again, IDC found that low-cost laptops, such as mininotebooks and netbooks, helped the market as consumers looked for bargains. The IDC report also found that this uptick in PC shipments should help Microsoft as it prepares to launch its Windows 7 operating system on Oct. 22. In anticipation of the new OS, HP, Acer, Dell and other PC makers are already previewing new PCs, especially laptops and all-in-one desktops that have touch-screen displays.

In terms of worldwide PC shipments, HP remained the top PC maker, followed by Acer and then Dell. In addition, Lenovo shipped 6.9 million PCs in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 18 percent, and Toshiba shipped a little more than 4 million PCs, an increase of about 7 percent.

In the United States, HP and Dell held the two top spots, followed by Acer, which shipped nearly 2 million PCs in the quarter-an increase of 48 percent compared with the third quarter of 2008.

After Acer, Apple shipped about 1.6 million Macs, an increase of 11.8 percent, and Toshiba rounded out the Top 5 with 1.4 million PC shipments, an increase of about 37 percent.