Acer growth at expense of whitebox

Acer growth at expense of whitebox

Acer is the fastest growing brand in the local PC market, according to recent figures released by Gartner.

It now accounts for 7.8 per cent of the market, experienced a 59 per cent year-on-year increase in shipments from Q2, 2003.

The losers, according to the report, are IBM and the whitebox market - Big Blue lost 0.3 per cent while the whitebox market was stagnant, growing 1.2 per cent.

"Acer has been one of the star performers in the PC market," Gartner hardware and systems group principal analyst, Andy Woo, said.

"In the past two years they have realigned their channels, dedicating a lot of resources to the government, education and corporate market."

Whereas Acer was an event-driven, niche vendor three years ago - relying on the cycle of government or education tenders for business - a refocus on the home and retail markets meant it was now considered a mainstream player, he said.

Across other PC vendors, Gartner found HP continued to lead the overall PC market with 19.7 per cent share, recording 29.8 per cent year-on-year growth. Dell clocked in second, increasing growth by 37.5 per cent. The vendor now boasts 12 per cent of the market.

Despite dealing exclusively in mobile PCs, Toshiba managed a 33.3 per cent second quarter market share year-on-year increase.

The vendor now represents 5.3 per cent of the overall PC market.

"Toshiba, from an Australian perspective, has always been the mobile leader and the growth in mobile PCs has clearly played into its hands," Woo said.

"It has a strong channel, is strong in the home market and has a strong relationship with most retailers, especially Harvey Norman."

Asus, who Gartner began tracking in the second quarter this year, also performed well, recording 3.8 per cent market share in the mobile computing market.

"Asus is still a bit of a dark horse," Woo said.

"They still need to build up their channel distribution and there's a lot of work to be done to get their name out there, especially in the enterprise space."

By contrast, IBM experienced a slight decrease to 6.5 per cent market share and whitebox manufacturers managed nominal growth of 1.2 per cent for the period.

"In the past couple of quarters the branded vendors have actually managed to pick up some share from the whitebox vendors, and that is why whiteboxes have remained relatively flat recently," Woo said.

Pricing pressures meant that for a small price difference, end-users preferred a branded PC, especially for warranty and reliability, he said.

Overall, Gartner found the combined PC, server and mobile PC market continued to experience strong growth throughout 2004, with global year-on-year growth at 14.4 per cent.

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