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Acer up, Dell down in laptop sales

Acer overtakes Toshiba

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Acer has long let it be known that it is gunning for Lenovo's third place in the global PC market. In Q4 last year, it picked off an easier target, overtaking Toshiba to become the world's third best selling notebook PC maker.

Toshiba's sales fell slightly in the quarter, which would have been nice for Acer, but the rise in the ranks did not depend on the missteps of others, according to iSuppli. The market watcher attributes Acer's Q4 sales success, particularly in Europe, to aggressive pricing.

"Acer came, Acer saw and Acer conquered in the fourth quarter," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for iSuppli. "...The fourth quarter ranking shows the company is putting its money where its mouth is."

"The company has been very public about its intention to capture the No. 3 spot in the mobile-PC market—and Wilkins said Acer’s success was due to aggressive pricing strategies, which resulted in very impressive sales gains, particularly in Europe.

HP and Dell continue to dominate notebook sales, but Dell had a crap Q4, according to iSuppli's latest numbers, with shipments falling 1.5 per cent from Q3 to 3.52 million units. iSuppli's Wilkins attributes the fall to the 'increasingly competitive situation with Hewlett-Packard, and a generally tougher battle with other OEMs".

But of course, Dell was the earliest and most prominent casualty of last year's Sony notebook battery fiasco, which saw the company recall more than four million units for non-flammable battery retro-fits. This cannot have helped.

Lenovo held steady at fifth place in Q4, shipping 1.9 million units, up 9.1 per cent on Q3.

The fourth quarter saw 23.6 million mobile PC shipments, up from 20.4 million in Q3. For the full year, shipments were 79.6 million, advancing 28.4 per cent on 2005's 61.96 million shipments.

iSuppli forecasts mobile-PC shipments of 98.3 million units this year, up 23.5 per cent from 2006.

iSuppli has put the 2006 headline numbers into a handy chart, in this release. ®

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