Dell's No. 2 in PC market again, thanks to the iPad

Analysts have been blaming the iPad for damaging the fortunes of PC makers. In this odd case it's being seen as hurting one (Acer) to the advantage of another (Dell).

Having languished in third place behind Hewlett-Packard and Acer for some time, Dell finally scrambled its way back to the PC market's No. 2 spot during the fourth quarter of 2010, a new survey by research firm iSuppli says. What's strange is the unusual quarter from which Dell got some help: Apple's iPad.

Acer had a tough time in the consumer market as the iPad cut into its consumer netbook sales, giving Dell, still strong in the healthy market for corporate PCs, the opportunity it needed to edge ahead of Acer by nearly two percentage points. ISuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins says it looks like a "firm lead." Dell also edged out Acer for the No. 2 spot for the entire year, iSuppli says. (Table courtesy iSuppli.)

Overall, iSuppli says the fourth quarter set a record for overall PC shipments with more than 93 million units, up nearly 5 percent from the same period in 2009. For the year, global PC shipments amounted to 345.4 million units, up 14.2 percent from 302.4 million in 2009.

Lately, PC market analysts have been blaming Apple and its industry-changing iPad--the second iteration of which goes on sale tomorrow--for damaging the fortunes of PC makers. In this odd case it's being seen as hurting one to the advantage of another. I have to wonder if Michael Dell feels at all thankful.

 

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