Dell retakes number-two spot in global PC sales

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Market analysis firm iSuppli has released new figures for worldwide PC sales during the fourth quarter of 2010 and the full 2010 calendar year, and finds that while HP still remains far and away the market leader, U.S. computer maker Dell retook the number-two spot it lost to Taiwan’s Acer over a year ago. And the reason? According to iSuppli, Dell has Apple to thank, as sales of its iPad tablet device impact Acer’s netbook business.

“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,” said IHS compute platforms principal analyst Matthew Wilkins, in a statement. “However, with momentum for consumer PCs waning and in light of growing competition from media tablets, Acer’s gains have been reversed.”

iSuppli’s preliminary numbers for the 2010 calendar year have Hewlett-Packard out in front with an 18.8 percent share of the worldwide market, shipping almost 65 million units during the year, representing 8.7 percent annual growth. Dell slipped into the number two spot with nearly 44 million PCs shipped during the year, representing 12.4 percent annual growth and a 12.7 percent of the worldwide PC market. Acer dropped to third with about 41.5 million units shipped, 8 percent annual growth, and a 12 percent market share. Lenovo and Toshiba rounded out the top five, with 9.9 and 5.5 percent of the worldwide PC market, respectively.

iSuppli also noted that while notebooks have been driving growth in PC shipments in the last several years, desktop systems actually drove PC shipments’ growth during the fourth quarter of 2010, fueled largely by strong demand from businesses and enterprise upgrading to new systems.

For the year, the worldwide PC market accounted for some 345.4 million units shipped, up 14.2 percent from 302.4 million the previous year.