Acer hit as tablets gobble netbooks; Dell regains no. 2 rank after 2008

World’s number two PC maker Acer has fallen two ranks to the fourth place in the second quarter of this year, numbers released by Gartner revealed.

Acer had been the consistent number two in global PC sales — primarily because it focused on low prices, low margins and decent profits through high volumes.

Acer’s global market-share dropped from 14% a year ago to just 10.9%. It was even higher at 14.6% during the January-March quarter of this year.

“Acer’s problems stemmed from its low-price, high-volume business model, which is no longer effective,” Gartner said.

Gartner, which measures shipments from the vendor to its retail channels, said Acer had to lower the number of PCs it shipped due to the accumulation of products with its distributors.

“It had a great deal of inventory in the distribution channel in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region,” it said.

Another possible reason could be the virtual crumbling of the netbook or mini-notebook market under the assault of the tablets. Acer had a 40% share of the netbook market, but is yet gain any large presence in the tablet market.

Acer’s loss was Dell and Lenovo’s gain. The two moved up a rank each from number 3 and 4 respectively. The last time Dell was in second place was in 2008. (see chart)

HP continued to be the king of the market, with 17.5% share, more or less unchanged compared to a year ago.

The biggest gainer was Lenovo, with a 22% growth in shipments gaining it an extra 2 percentage points in market share.