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Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 15, 2009
We’ve seen this one coming for a while, and today it’s official: Acer has overtaken Dell to become the world’s second-largest PC company, with market share behind only HP. According to both Gartner and IDC, the Taiwanese company’s shipments in the third quarter topped Dell. Gartner has Acer at 15.4% and Dell at 12.8%, while IDC has Acer at 14% and Dell at 12.7%.
You could argue - and certainly Dell does - that the focus on market share is silly and what really matters is profit, not number of computers shipped (especially if they’re low-margin netbooks). When I interviewed Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci in April, I asked him about this. “In this industry, without growing market share, in most cases you cannot grow and if you cannot grow you cannot be profitable,” he said then. (Here’s the interview.)
What next for Acer? According to this story from CNet, which came out shortly before the news about the Gartner and IDC numbers, Lanci is already setting his sights on the top company. “I would expect not only to pass Dell very soon, but also to breach the gap with HP in terms of[notebooks, Netbooks, and smartphones].” To do that, Acer is making a big push into Android devices, with the company introducing not only an Android smartphone but an Android netbook (albeit also with Windows). A lot of other companies have similar ideas, though. As my colleague Olga Kharif writes here in this new BW story, “As many as 20 phones based on Android are likely to be released this year, and Gartner (IT) analyst Ken Dulaney expects to see 40 more devices in 2010.”
BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.