Marking a major milestone in the history of the computer industry, an Asian OEM has captured the No.-2 position in the global PC market on a quarterly basis for the first time, according to iSuppli Corp.
Acer Inc. of Taiwan in the third quarter of 2009 rose to second place in the worldwide PC business, up from third place during the previous quarter. The company supplanted Dell Inc. of the United States, which declined to third place during the quarter.
Acer’s PC unit shipments soared by 16.6 percent in the third quarter of 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier and by 31 percent from the second quarter of this year. This caused the company’s share of worldwide PC unit shipments to rise to 13.4 percent, up from 12 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and up from 11.6 percent in the third quarter of 2008.
“Acer’s rise to the No.-2 rank in the global PC business reflects not only its strong performance in the notebook segment, but also the historic rise of Asia as a primary force in the computer industry,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms research, for iSuppli.
Company shipments of notebook PCs rose by 17 percent in the third quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 and by 28 percent from the second quarter of 2009. Acer’s success is due to its continued aggressive pricing strategy, its strong netbook shipments and its robust regional performances in both the European and U.S. markets. Acer’s strong performance in the third quarter was paralleled by fourth-ranked Lenovo of China, whose PC shipments rose by 17.2 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, the largest increase among the Top-5 OEMs during the period.
“The third-quarter performances of Acer and Lenovo are just the latest development in the long-term rise of Asian manufacturers in the global PC market,” Wilkins said. “These companies have made major strides in the PC market in recent years, with Acer rising from the sixth rank in 2003 and Lenovo advancing from the No.-8 position during the same year. The Asian manufacturers are a growing force in the global PC business due to their aggressive pricing along with their ability to quickly react and embrace new developments, such as the netbook PC.”
The third quarter also marked two other significant milestones for the PC market. First, unit shipments rose on a year-over-year basis for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008. Second, shipments increased at the highest sequential rate since iSuppli began tracking the market in 2003.
Worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter amounted to 79.9 million units. This represented a 1.1 percent increase from the third quarter of 2008 and a 19 percent surge from the second quarter of 2009.
“The sequential and year-over-year shipment increases show that the PC industry emerged from the downturn and began to grow again in the third quarter,” Wilkins said. “Notebook PCs were critical in driving growth on both a sequential or a year-over-year basis. In fact, during every quarter of the economic downturn—the worst since the Great Depression—notebook PC sales always managed to generate growth compared to the same period a year earlier. This is a testament to the high value that consumers and businesses place on their mobile computing platforms.”
Downturn in 2009 Less than Feared
Following the strong third quarter, PC market conditions appear likely to remain strong in the fourth quarter.
“With the start of the Christmas buying season and the arrival of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 7 operating system, the fourth quarter is likely to bring more good news for PC makers,” Wilkins said.
Given the strong results in the third quarter, iSuppli has revised its 2009 PC unit shipment forecast to a 0.9 percent decline, compared to the previous forecast of a 4 percent decrease.
U.S. PC OEM Hewlett-Packard Co. extended its unbroken run of No.-1 rankings to 13 quarters with third-quarter shipments of 15.9 million units, up 7 percent from the third quarter of 2008, giving it a market share of 20 percent.
Third-ranked Dell saw its shipments decline to 10.3 million units, down 5.9 percent from 10.99 million in the third quarter of 2008. Dell’s share of worldwide PC unit shipments amounted to 12.9 percent during the third quarter.
“Despite double-digit growth in consumer PC unit shipment, Dell’s results were dragged down by the continued challenges in the commercial sector,” Wilkins said. No.-5 Toshiba of Japan achieved 9.7 percent growth compared to third quarter of 2008, giving it a market share of 5 percent.