Acer tops HP in European PC sales

Acer has topped HP in PC shipments in Western Europe for the first time, as netbooks continue to drive PC growth, according to Gartner.

The analyst firm said the market showed double digit growth this year, with 17.2 million units shipping in the third quarter up nearly a quarter from the same period last year. In the UK alone, shipments hit 3.4 million in the quarter, up 17.5 per cent.

Acer held a quarter of the market, topping HP's 20 per cent. "The market position of vendors was largely determined by those that shipped mini-notebooks and those that did not," said Ranjit Atwal, a principal analyst at Gartner. "As a result, Acer moved to the top position in Western Europe, ahead of HP for the first time ever."

Across Western Europe, Acer and HP were followed in the rankings by Dell, Asus and Toshiba.

While consumer-friendly netbooks were popular, the professional market was hit by global economic troubles, with an increase of just five per cent. The desktop market fell three per cent across Western Europe and 10 per cent in the UK a trend Gartner expects to continue.

"It is impossible for the PC market to avoid the negative impact that the macro-economic factors are having on both business and consumer markets," said Atwal.

"We expect organisations to keep their PCs longer and consumers to delay buying additional PCs for the household. This in turn will force a deeper price war and further consolidation in the marketplace," he added.