Good news for the industry is that PC shipments were up 2% year over year, even though the third quarter of 2008 was a strong one, according to Gartner. "These are good results especially given that PC shipments for the third quarter of 2009 are being compared to a very strong third quarter from 2008," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, "Sequentially, third quarter shipments grew 18 per cent, which is higher than the historical seasonal growth from the second to third quarter."
Even though unit shipments are up, it's a silver cloud with a black lining: average selling prices of computers are dropping, meaning margins are getting thinner. On top of that comes the ever rising popularity of netbooks, which only adds a lot of insult to injury. "Ongoing price declines continue to be a major issue in the PC industry," Kitagawa says, "PC vendor performance cannot be determined solely by unit market share gains as related revenues and margin performance are key to surviving in very competitive market."
The market share figures from both research firms look like this:
As you can see, Acer has overtaken Dell as the number two PC maker in the world, which is something people had long seen coming. Acer has been doing very well with, among other things, its line of Aspire One netbooks. Apple is not present at all in the worldwide top 5 of PC makers; the Cupertino company needs to nearly double its worldwide sales to enter the top 5.