iSuppli: Acer bumps Dell out of second place in PC shipments

Only two years ago, Acer was buying out Gateway in a bid to become the world's third-largest PC vendor. Well, Acer looks to have met and exceeded that goal. iSuppli has crunched the numbers on global PC shipments for the third quarter of this year, and it says Acer now lies in second place, having pushed Dell to the bottom of the podium—a first for an Asian PC vendor.

Acer reportedly commanded 13.4% of global shipments in Q3 2009, compared to 19.9% for HP, 12.9% for Dell, and 8.7% for Lenovo. According to iSuppli, the Taiwanese PC maker can thank its aggressive prices, good netbook shipments, and strong U.S. and European performance for the meteoric rise, which saw its shipments grow a whopping 16.6% compared to the same time period a year ago.

Only Lenovo saw higher year-over-year growth in worldwide PC shipments: 17.2%. Among U.S.-based vendors, HP finished the quarter with a more modest 7% increase, and Dell suffered a decline of almost 6%.

Despite Dell's relatively poor performance, iSuppli says the PC market as a whole did better than expected in the third quarter. Overall unit shipments actually grew by 1.1% compared to the same time period last year, bringing an end to half a year of declines. Also, shipments grew by an impressive 19% between the second and third quarters—the biggest sequential growth the market research firm has seen since 2003, iSuppli notes.

Third-quarter numbers turned out so well that iSuppli has raised its forecast for the whole year. Rather than falling by 4% as it previously expected, 2009 shipments should now go down by only 0.9% compared to 2008.

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