In terms of PC shipments, Dell pulled ahead of neck-and-neck competitor Acer during the fourth quarter of 2010, according to a March 10 report from IHS iSuppli. Helping Dell, said the firm, was the same device partly blamed for sluggish PC shipments the quarter before: the Apple iPad.
The iPad and competing tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, are hurting sales of netbooks and notebooks -- Ã--Acer's bread and butter. According to IHS iSuppli, Dell's fourth-quarter PC shipments remained completely flat. It didn't move ahead so much as Acer fell backÃ--by 12.9 percentÃ--hurt by a loss of consumer interest. (Between the iPad's April 2010 launch date and December 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced recently, Apple sold nearly 15 million tablets. More bad news for the netbook makers: March 11 marks the debut of the iPad 2.)
"A little more than one year after a prolonged decline in shipments caused Dell to lose its customary second-place ranking to rival Acer, Dell now seems to have regained a firm hold on the No. 2 rank," Matthew Wilkins, an IHS iSuppli principal analyst, said in a statement. "Acer in the third quarter of 2009 had surged to the No. 2 spot on the strength of its strong sales of netbook PCs to consumers and a generally buoyant consumer market. However, with momentum for consumer PCs waning and in light of growing competition from media tablets, Acer's gains have been reversed."