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Acer poised to overtake Dell in notebook market

The notebook market continues to grow, led by Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo, and Sony.

Sales of notebooks are rising worldwide, but Taiwan's Acer, in particular, is continuing its skyrocketing growth.

Market research firm DisplaySearch released its quarterly report on the notebook market Monday, and found that the market grew 24 percent during the three months of the third quarter, and 42 percent in the last year.

A $348 Acer laptop was one of the featured items offered at Wal-Mart in a pre-Black Friday sale. Wal-Mart

Hewlett-Packard remains the worldwide leader in notebooks by shipping 6.2 million portable PCs last quarter--72 percent more than the company shipped a year ago. Dell holds on to second place, but continues to lose ground, not only to HP, but to Acer.

While Dell still has 13.8 percent of the worldwide notebook market (behind HP's 21.4 percent), Acer continues to creep up on Dell, with 12.8 percent of notebook shipments. And in what should be more distressing to Dell, combining Acer with newly acquired Gateway and Packard-Bell puts the Taiwanese PC maker at 16.2 percent of the market, and just behind HP, according to DisplaySearch.

Of the top 10 notebook makers, all grew faster than the market with the exception of just two: Toshiba and Fujitsu-Siemens. Several smaller notebook brands significantly stepped up their shipments in the third quarter--Sony grew 94 percent to 1.6 million units, Asus at 73 percent to 1.2 million units, Lenovo at 54 percent to 2.8 million units, and Apple at 36 percent to 1.4 million units.