Dell nudges Acer from No. 2 spot in PC sales

Dell benefitted from an uptick in sales to corporate customers, while Acer struggled with inventory

Dell recovered its second-place spot in worldwide PC shipments during the second quarter, edging out Acer as corporate PC sales gained steam, IDC said on Wednesday.

Acer nudged Dell out of second place in last year's third quarter amid stronger demand for consumer laptops and netbooks. But Dell has regained its lost ground thanks to an uptick in demand from businesses and strong growth in Asia/Pacific and Latin America, said Jay Chou, research analyst at IDC.

Its recovery may be short-lived, however. Acer had some inventory problems in the second quarter but could pass Dell again later this year during the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, when demand for consumer laptops will pick up, Chou said.

Michael Dell in late June said that companies had begun to refresh their PCs after a lull during the recession.

Total worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter were 81.5 million, up 22.4 percent from the same period in 2009, IDC said.

Hewlett-Packard held on to the top spot with 14.8 million PCs sold. That was up 12.2 percent from last year and gave it a market share of 18.1 percent.

Dell shipped 10.6 million units, up 19.1 percent year over year for a 13 percent share of the market. Acer was close behind with 10.24 million PCs shipped and 12.6 percent of the market.

Lenovo recorded solid shipment growth of 47.3 percent to finish fourth with 8.34 million units sold, or 10.2 percent of the market. Toshiba and Asustek Computer brought up the rear.

Desktop shipments grew at a solid clip thanks to the upswing in corporate sales, but laptop sales fell short of projections, Chou said. Consumer spending has slowed compared to prior quarters, but demand overall remains robust, he said.

The IDC study counted laptops and desktops, but not tablets. "We do want to track them, but not as PCs," Chou said.

(IDC is a division of International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service.)

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