HP Still Tops PC List, but Acer Is the Big Climber

HP still dominates the global PC market - which took a baby step toward recovery during the second quarter - but third-ranking Acer showed the most significant growth, racing ahead onto the heels of a beleaguered, second-ranking Dell.

The PC market, while not yet in full recovery mode, took "one small step away from the abyss" in the second quarter of 2009, according to a Sept. 11 report from market research firm iSuppli.
The second quarter saw global shipments of 67.2 million units. While down 4.3 percent from the 70.2 million units that shipped during the second quarter of 2008, it was a gain of 1 percent from the 66.5 million units shipped during the first quarter of the year. Desktops continued their decline, and the growth, which is expected to continue, came courtesy of notebook sales, said Matthew Wilkins, an iSuppli principal analyst, in a statement.
"iSuppli predicts continued sequential growth in the third and fourth quarters, driven by the slow improvement in the worldwide economy, along with the arrival of technology drivers, such as [Microsoft's] new client operating system, Windows 7," said Wilkins. "However, this growth had been expected and doesn't change iSuppli's forecast of a 4 percent decline in global PC shipments for the full year of 2009."
Microsoft will roll out Windows 7 on Oct. 22-a date on which several PC and processor companies have announcements hinging. Microsoft and Intel have said that the new operating system will offer better battery life and processing performance, including quicker boot-up times, than Windows Vista.
Hewlett-Packard was again the market share leader this quarter, a position it has maintained for 12 consecutive quarters, according to iSuppli. HP saw 2.1 percent year-to-year growth, with shipments rising from 13.1 million in the second quarter of 2008 to 13.4 million in the second quarter of 2009.
"Hewlett-Packard not only is maintaining its leadership position but is also gaining market share due to its robust notebook PC business, which has outgrown the overall notebook segment for the past two quarters," said Wilkins.
The largest market share growth, by far, came by No. 3 performer Acer, which saw year-to-year growth of 23.3 percent, substantially closing the gap between it and No. 2 performer Dell-which saw its numbers fall by 19.5 percent over the year. In the second quarter of 2009, Acer, which shipped 8.2 million units, trailed Dell, with 9 million units, by only 1.2 percentage points.
"Acer's rise is due to another strong performance from its notebook PC business, clearly capitalizing on the demand for mobile computing," said Wilkins. "Meanwhile, Dell continues to suffer because of the weakness in the corporate market, despite showing improvements in its consumer business."
The enterprise, and particularly small and medium-size businesses, is increasingly a focus for Dell, which introduced a new line of enterprise products on Sept. 8.
The No. 4 PC performer for the quarter was Lenovo, which shipped 5.6 million units during the quarter, for a growth of 1.3 percent from the previous year. Fifth place Toshiba grew 4 percent year-to-year and shipped 3.3 million units during the second quarter.