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Lenovo overtakes Acer in PC rankings

Short-term seasonal shift favours Chinese firm

Lenovo reclaimed the number three spot among PC vendors during the second quarter, pushing rival Acer back into fourth place. But Acer's exceptionally fast growth means the company is likely to overtake Lenovo as number three for the entire year, if current trends continue.

Acer has been on a roll in recent quarters, grabbing market share and putting pressure on Lenovo. During the first quarter of 2007, Acer tied Lenovo for third place, with both companies reporting shipments of nearly 4 million PCs, giving each company 6.7 percent of the market, according to IDC.

Acer, which has made taking the number three spot from Lenovo a principal goal for the year, was able to match Lenovo during the first quarter because of seasonal buying trends in China. Lenovo depends heavily on China, where it has long dominated PC sales. The company's first-quarter sales were slowed by the Chinese New Year holiday, a time when PC sales dive in China.

Lenovo saw its first-quarter shipments increase 17.4 percent over the previous year, while Acer's shipments rose 41.4 percent, IDC said.

Acer's first quarter sales weren't hit during by Chinese New Year because the company remains a relatively minor player in China, despite having roots in Taiwan, which shares a common language and culture. Acer's presence is much stronger in Taiwan, which also celebrates Chinese New Year. But Taiwan's relatively small population means the holiday had a minor impact on Acer's overall sales during that period.

During the second quarter, Lenovo was able to reclaim the number three spot, with a 22.3 percent increase in unit shipments, to almost 4.9 million units, IDC said. Acer fell to the number four spot, but showed strong growth during the period. The company's shipments rose 55.4 percent over the same period last year, to almost 4.3 million units - just 600,000 units fewer than Lenovo.

That relatively narrow gap puts Acer within striking distance of Lenovo, assuming current growth trends continue through the rest of the year.

Acer did well around the world during the second quarter, with the company posting unit shipment growth of 30 percent or more in every region. The company did particularly well in the Americas, IDC said.

"New retail and dealer partner agreements are quickly expanding the company's access to the market, contributing to volume gains," it said.


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