Acer loses No. 3 spot in rankings

WAITING FOR WINDOWS 8::Acer’s global PC market share fell to 9.9 percent last quarter, from 11 percent in the second quarter, pushing the firm’s ranking down to fourth position

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 13

Taiwanese PC brand Acer Inc (宏碁) saw its ranking fall one notch last quarter as consumer demand faltered during the back-to-school shopping season while buyers await the launch of new PCs running Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8 operating system later this month, market researcher Gartner Inc said yesterday.

Acer’s PC shipments dropped 10.2 percent to 8.63 million units in the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with 9.21 million units in the corresponding quarter a year ago, Gartner’s preliminary survey showed.

On a quarterly basis, shipments decreased 10.56 percent from 9.56 million units in the second quarter.

That dragged down Acer’s global PC market share to 9.9 percent last quarter, from 11 percent in the second quarter, pushing the firm’s ranking down to the fourth position after Dell Inc claimed third spot, Gartner’s statistics showed.

“As Dell has been focusing long-term on the commercial PC market, it has less impact from the impending release of PCs running the Windows 8 operating system than other brands. That caused Acer to fall one notch from the previous quarter,” Gartner said in the report.

Acer’s quarterly results lagged the 0.03 percent growth in global PC shipments at 87.5 million units.

On an annual basis, PC shipments contracted 8.3 percent, Gartner said.

“A continuing slowdown in consumer PC shipments played a big part in overall PC market decline,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in the report. “The third quarter was also a transitional quarter, before Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is released, so shipments were less vigorous as vendors and their channel partners liquidated inventory. On the professional side, there was minimum impact from Windows 8 in the quarter, because the professional market will not adopt Windows 8 PCs immediately after their release.”

China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) ended Hewlett-Packard Co’s seven-year run as the world’s top PC brand last quarter by a small margin as it expanded its market share to 15.7 percent last quarter from 13.1 percent the previous year due to acquisitions and an aggressive pricing strategy, Gartner’s report said.

Hewlett-Packard’s market share shrank to 15.5 percent last quarter from 17 percent the previous year.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), another Taiwanese PC brand, saw its shipments expand 11.8 percent year-on-year, or 4.25 percent quarter-on-quarter, to 6.38 million units last quarter, making it the world’s fifth-biggest PC vendor.

Asustek’s market share also increased to 7.3 percent last quarter from 6 percent the previous year and 7 percent in the second quarter.

The US PC market, which consumes about 18 percent of the PCs made globally, suffered a steeper 13.8 percent year-on-year decline to 15. 32 million units last quarter, the report said.

“The third quarter has historically been driven by back-to-school sales, but US PC shipments did not increase, not even sequentially, from the second quarter of 2012. Buyers were conservative when placing orders,” Kitagawa said.

International Data Corp (IDC) said in its latest report that global PC shipments fell 8.6 percent last quarter to 87.8 million units, from 96.08 million units in the same period of last year.

That decline was bigger than a 3.8 percent year-on-year contraction forecast by IDC in August.

“Continued pressure from other products, such as tablets and smartphones, as well as uncertainty over the impact of Windows 8 and the economic outlook, contributed to depressed shipments — largely as expected,” IDC said.