Dell is again number two in the PC market, with a little help from iPad

Dell CEO Michael Dell probably doesn’t mind the success of iPad. According to market analyst IHS iSuppli, strong iPad sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 helped Dell to overtake Acer as the number 2 PC maker in the world.

Acer was suffering from declining netbook sales — people who previously bought netbooks started looking into tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad. The momentum for consumer PCs, Acers strong segment, is waning. Meanwhile, corporate demand remains strong, and that is Dell’s core business.

Hewlett-Packard is still the number one PC maker, with 13.6 percent sequential growth from the previous quarter. Dell’s shipments remained flat, but Acer’s fell 12.9 percent.

Overall, the PC market has rebounded from the recession of 2009. Global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 amounted to 93.1 million units, up 5.7 percent from 88.1 million in the third quarter of 2010, and a 4.7 percent increase from 88.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. PC shipments during the fourth quarter hit a new quarterly record, blowing past the previous high of 88.9 million units set in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The growth came from desktop computers. “Desktop sales in the fourth quarter were buoyed by strong corporate demand,” HIS iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins said. “The corporate PC segment continues to outperform the consumer market as companies replace systems with newer, faster, more efficient computers.”

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