Netbook Sales Help Acer Gain Market Share

Sales of mini-notebooks, the popular, scaled-down inexpensive version of the traditional laptop, helped Acer gain market share in Europe against channel rivals Hewlett-Packard and Dell, according to research firm Gartner. The research shows netbooks are growing in popularity, comprising about 5 percent of total PC shipments.

Wordwide PC shipments grew 15 percent in 3Q, with HP garnering an 18.4 percent, Dell at 13.6 percent and Acer at 12.5 percent. Sales in the U.S. grew at a much slower 4.6 percent, although Acer, which is completely focused on channel sales, saw its U.S. shipments in Q3 grow 16 percent over Q2.

The Gartner figures show Acer is being helped overall by several factors: its netbook products, its dedicated channel focus (which helps minimize channel conflict) and its assimilation of the Gateway brand (which has helped it gain market share in the U.S. from last year.) If business spending slows in Q4 as many expect, Acer could benefit even more from sales of the low-priced netbooks. HP and Dell also have netbook products, but Acer's newer products appear to be outpacing them, at least at the moment. The slowdown in growth could see all of these vendors leveraging their channel strength and partnerships to gain market share.

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