HP and Dell have dominated the PC market in terms of worldwide sales for a quite while, but the latter may soon be losing its number two spot to Acer. According to the New York Times, at its current growth rate, the Taiwanese manufacturer is poised to overtake Dell before the end of the year, becoming the first non-American company to earn such a high place in the global PC sales chart.

In the past year, Acer’s market share grew by 3 percentage points to 10.9 percent, compared to a near-flat growth of 0.1 percent for Dell to 15 percent. That gap further closed this past quarter to just 2 percent, with Acer claiming 11.6 percent of the market versus Dell’s 13.6 percent. The difference is attributed to an emphasis on lower-cost systems and some solid business moves in recent years.

These include the acquisitions of Gateway, Packard Bell and eMachines, all of which address different markets and have produced good sales numbers for Acer. The company was also early to the netbook market, and its Acer Aspire One netbook has already ousted Asus for the top spot in this category.