IHS iSuppli: iPad helped Dell's market share last quarter

Here's some interesting analysis from the folks at IHS iSuppli. After compiling PC shipment numbers for the fourth quarter of last year, they've observed that Apple's iPad has helped Dell solidify its position as the world's second-biggest PC vendor. No, really.

Here's how the research firm sees it: Acer has been nipping at Dell's heels, but it owes much of its success to sales of "consumer-focused netbook and notebook computers." The iPad and its kin happen to be eating into that market, allegedly resulting in more lost sales for Acer than for Dell.

The IHS iSuppli numbers show Acer's fourth-quarter shipments were 12.9% lower than the third quarter's and almost 20% below those of the same quarter a year before. Dell, meanwhile, saw flat sequential growth and 4.3% year-over-year growth. All other vendors, including top dog HP, enjoyed some amount of growth, both sequentially and year-over-year.

In terms of market share, IHS iSuppli says HP was sitting pretty with a 19% slice of fourth-quarter shipments, while Dell came in second with 12%, and Acer and Lenovo each had 10.2%. Clearly, Acer has its work cut out if it wants to start outselling HP by 2013—the bold aspiration shared by Acer Chairman J.T. Wang last year.

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