Acer has slipped two places in the global PC rankings after its recent $150m (£93m) inventory hit, according to analyst Gartner.
Worldwide PC shipments crept up by just over two per cent for the second quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, significantly below its earlier projection of 6.7 per cent growth, as the market continues a "period of adjustment".
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said: “After strong growth in shipments of consumer PCs for four years, driven by strong demand for mini-notebooks and low-priced consumer notebooks, the market is shifting to modest but steady growth. The slow overall growth indicates that the PC market is still in a period of adjustment, which began in the second half of 2010.”
She added that vendor performances have been variable as they have had to deal with significant inventory buildup, changes to product line-ups and the fact that growth has mainly been from emerging markets.
“Vendors are having to shift resources away from mature consumer markets. They are also investing in developing media tablets, many of which launched in the first half of 2011," she said.
HP managed to cling on to the top spot, accounting for 17.5 per cent of worldwide shipments, but Gartner said despite solid growth in the corporate space, HP is facing challenges in the consumer market.
The top five underwent a shuffle, with Dell landing the second spot globally for the first time since Q4 2008, grabbing 12.5 per cent share. Close behind Dell was Lenovo with 12 per cent market share.
Acer dropped two places to number four, mainly due to its low-price, high-volume business model, which Gartner claimed was "no longer effective". The vendor hit the headlines recently when it announced a $150m hit for mismanaging its EMEA inventory.
In joint fifth place were Asus and Toshiba, both with 5.2 per cent market share.
The PC market in the EMEA region declined overall, but this was largely due to the Acer inventory clearance, which if taken out of the equation would have seen the EMEA market grow three per cent, Gartner said. HP was top of the EMEA charts, with Acer second, Dell third, Asus fourth and Lenovo fifth.
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said: “For the second consecutive quarter the PC market in EMEA showed decline. The PC market in the region remained weak due to slow consumer demand and lower sell-in with PC shipments. In addition, high inventory adjustments by Acer worsened the downside view of the market.
“There is no doubt that the continued weak consumer demand within Western Europe and economic issues in Southern Europe had some impact on consumer confidence across Western Europe,” added Atwal.
“The feedback from retail channels remained pessimistic, especially in most of Southern Europe, with only France and Germany reporting stronger end-of-quarter shipments as channels cleaned out inventory.”
Overall growth in the Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa markets could not compensate for the weak shipments in Western Europe.
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