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Acer beats down PC rivals to lead UK

Paul Kunert

Acer became the highest selling PC vendor in the UK during a third quarter market that was characterised by declining shipments in all but the consumer portable segment.

According to preliminary data by IDC, more than 3 million units were sold into the UK channel representing a 5.5% drop year-on-year.

Mirroring the trend in EMEA, Acer progressed through the UK ranks to take the top spot while second and third placed rivals Dell and HP demonstrated their reliance on the flaky commercial sectors.

"The market played to Acer's strengths," IDC research manager Eszter Morvay told MicroScope.

The UK commercial market continued to be badly hit with a 20% decline in desktop sales and a 26% decline in professional portables.

The sentiment among consumers was somewhat different as desktop sales fell just 9% while notebooks climbed 20%. Retail notebooks accounted for half of all units sold, and netbooks represented 35% of those.

Overall, Acer grew 40% in the UK - posting growth in each of the four segments - while Dell and HP declined 12% and 11% respectively and grew only in consumer portables.

The latest movements in the UK follow a torrid second quarter for HP, when it was shunted from first into third place by Dell and Acer.

Interim UK PC boss Jos Brenkel - who took over from David Wright - has already insisted it is seeking only profitable growth and will not use price to gain market share.

However, Morvay reckons sales could swing back in favour of HP and Dell next year when businesses begin to replace aging PC estates and the rapid growth of netbooks starts to slow relative to the total size of the market.

"Netbook growth in 2010 is bound to slow as it will reach critical mass and there will be higher demand for mainstream notebooks which will re-organise how the vendors are ranked," she said.

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