Netbooks help Acer top HP in European sales

HP is still the top seller of computers world wide, but Acer has taken the top spot for EMEA, according to a report from Gartner.

HP's slow entry into the netbook sector contributed to it losing the leading spot in EMEA for the first time since its merger with Compaq. Netbook-focused Acer took over, with 20.6 per cent of the market to HP's 18.7 per cent. The analyst firm noted that both Acer and Eee PC-maker Asus saw strong growth.

Across EMEA, PC shipments jumped 26 per cent year-on-year, to 28.8 million this quarter. Globally, PC shipments hit 80.6 million in the third quarter, a 15 per cent increase year-on-year.

The data also showed that mini-notebooks so-called netbooks like the Eee PC are helping to prop up sales in the face of an ailing economy. "The mini-notebook segment experienced strong growth in the global PC, led by robust growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region," said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's client computing markets group.

"In the North American market, the economic crunch created more interest in the sub $500 [285] segment. Because the mini-notebook is still a new segment, it is too early to determine if the emerging segment created new market opportunities, or if it cannibalised lower priced systems."

She added that the PC market is finally starting to feel the effects of the global economic downturn, with the US taking the biggest hit, especially in the professional market.