CRYSTAL BALL GAZER Gartner has reported a 3.1 per cent rise in global fourth quarter PC sales, although a couple of top vendors saw declines in their market shares.
Growth of 3.1 per cent was lower than Gartner had predicted but was propped up by Apple, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba. HP and Acer, the two largest PC manufacturers, did not benefit from the traditionally strong Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday sales, seeing 1.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent drops in market share, respectively.
Dell, still the third largest PC flogger, closed the gap on Acer with steady market share growth of 3.9 per cent, bringing it to within 1.1 per cent of Acer. While Dell managed modest gains, Lenovo and Toshiba romped away from the pack with 21.4 per cent and 12.1 per cent increases in market share, respectively.
Gartner provided only US figures for Apple, which show the fruit themed toymaker increasing its market share by 23.7 per cent to 9.7 per cent, putting it in fifth place behind HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba. It is entirely possible that Apple will shoot up to third place in the US market, as third placed Acer is only 1.4 per cent ahead of Apple.
On the global scale, Lenovo and Toshiba have had something of a revival and things are looking especially bright for Lenovo, as it put out a slew of impressive enterprise and consumer oriented laptops and tablets at CES. Gartner put Lenovo's success down to enterprises replenishing their stock and the firm edging further into the consumer market.
All of this is putting pressure on HP and Acer to up their games, with Gartner blaming their decreasing market shares on intensifying competition. The market research outfit also blames tablets and games consoles for weak PC sales.
Although HP won't be looking over its shoulder just yet, given its healthy lead over Acer and Dell, lower down the PC shipments table there could well be a shake-up in 2011. µ
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