Laptop shipments top desktops for first time; Netbooks a factor

Notebook shipments exceeded desktops on a quarterly basis for the first time ever with Netbooks from Acer being a deciding factor, says iSuppli.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read

Global notebook shipments exceeded desktops on a quarterly basis for the first time ever, with Netbooks playing a decisive role, iSuppli said on Tuesday.

Acer's Netbook shipments appear to have been a deciding factor that catapulted notebook shipments over desktops. Acer

Notebook PC shipments rose almost 40 percent in the third quarter of 2008 over the same period in 2007, hitting 38.6 million units, said iSuppli, a market research firm based in El Segundo, Calif.

Netbooks may have been the deciding factor in pushing notebooks over the top.

"The big news from iSuppli's market share data for the third quarter was undoubtedly the performance of Taiwan's Acer," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli, in a statement. "Acer shipped almost 3 million more notebooks in the third quarter than it did in the preceding quarter, with the majority of those 3 million being the company's Netbook products," Wilkins said.

And Acer is close to catching No.2 Dell because of the surge in Netbook shipments, according to Wilkins.

All of this resulted in lower desktop PC shipments, which fell by 1.3 percent in the third quarter over the previous year to 38.5 million units.

Global PC unit shipments rose 15.4 percent over the third quarter of 2007, with 79 million units shipped. Overall third-quarter PC shipments exceeded iSuppli's expectations of 12 percent year-over-year growth for the third quarter, the market researcher said.

Hewlett-Packard remained the No.1 PC supplier in the third quarter, with shipments of 14.9 million units, and a market share of 18.8 percent. Dell held onto second place with shipments of just under 11 million units, translating into a market share of 13.9 percent. Acer was No.3 with a market share of 12.2 percent, as shipments hit 9.7 million during the quarter.

Lenovo and Toshiba were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

iSuppli is revising its 2008 forecast upward. "In view of the better-than-expected third-quarter PC shipments, iSuppli has slightly increased its full year 2008 unit growth forecast from 12.5 percent to 13.0 percent," the firm said, adding that its revised 2009 outlook calls for PC unit growth of 4.3 percent.