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Acer Rises to Third Place in Q4 Worldwide Mobile-PC Ranking

By Julio Franco
Apr 6, 2007
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  1. El Segundo, Calif., Apr. 5, 2007—While much attention is being heaped upon the top competitors in the mobile-PC market, the really interesting developments are occurring at a smaller player: Acer Inc., whose strong rise in sales shook up the industry in the fourth quarter, according to iSuppli Corp.
    Taiwan’s Acer in the fourth quarter of 2006 sold 3.4 million mobile PCs, up 45.6 percent from 2.3 million in the third quarter, the highest sequential growth rate among the world’s Top-5 notebook computer OEMs. The company’s growth handily outpaced that of the leading mobile-PC OEM, Hewlett-Packard Co. of the United States, which achieved the second-highest rate of expansion among the Top-5 for the period, at 32.8 percent. Acer’s growth rate was nearly three times the rate of the overall mobile-PC market, which expanded by 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third.

    On the strength of this sales growth, Acer’s share of global mobile-PC shipments increased to 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter, up 3 percentage points from 11.3 percent in the third quarter. With its shipments increasing by 1.1 million units compared to the third quarter, Acer rose one position in iSuppli’s Top-5 rankings to reach the third rank. Acer supplanted the previous No. 3, Toshiba Corp., which fell to fourth place.

    The attached table presents iSuppli’s ranking of the world’s Top-5 PC OEMs in the fourth quarter based on unit shipments.
    “Acer came, Acer saw and Acer conquered in the fourth quarter,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for iSuppli. “The company has been very public about its intention to capture the No. 3 spot in the mobile-PC market—and the fourth quarter ranking shows the company is putting its money where its mouth is.”

    Wilkins said Acer’s success was due to aggressive pricing strategies, which resulted in very impressive sales gains, particularly in Europe.
    In contrast, mobile-PC shipments from Japan’s Toshiba declined marginally in the fourth quarter, decreasing to 2.45 million, down 1.1 percent from 2.48 million.
    Meanwhile, China’s Lenovo remained in the No. 5 position with mobile-PC shipments of 1.9 million units, up 9.1 percent from 1.7 million in the third quarter.

    In contrast, Dell Inc. of the United States posted the weakest performance of the Top-5 mobile-PC OEMs in the fourth quarter, with its shipments declining to 3.52 million units, down 1.5 percent from 3.57 million in the third quarter. Dell’s troubles in mobile PCs were due mainly to the increasingly competitive situation with Hewlett-Packard, and a generally tougher battle with other OEMs in the wider mobile-PC market, according to Wilkins.
    Acer’s strong performance in the fourth quarter reflects a larger and longer-term trend in the PC market: the rise of the Asia/Pacific-based OEMs. In 2005, the two Asia/Pacific PC OEMS—Acer and Lenovo—accounted for combined desktop and notebook shipments of 23.6 million units, or 10.8 percent of the worldwide market. In 2006, combined PC shipments for the
    two companies grew to 29.8 million or 12.5 percent of the total market. The companies’ shipments in 2006 grew by 26 percent, almost three times that of the annual growth rate of the overall PC industry.

    “Looking at the Top-5 PC OEMs, they are definitely separated into the major and minor leagues, with Hewlett-Packard and Dell alone in the majors,” Wilkins said. “However, today’s minor leaguers could be tomorrow’s major leaguers. Thus, current market-share developments for the Asia/Pacific mobile-PC OEMs could give us a glimpse into the future of top-tier competition in the market.”
    Overall mobile-PC shipments rose to 23.6 million in the fourth quarter, up from 20.4 million in the third, according to iSuppli. For all of 2006, the global mobile-PC market amounted to 79.6 million units, up 28.4 percent from 61.96 million in 2005.

    The worldwide mobile-PC market is expected to post another strong year in 2007, with shipments rising to 98.3 million units, up 23.5 percent from 2006, iSuppli predicts. www.isuppli.com
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