updated 08:50 am EDT, Wed September 17, 2008
Apple 10pc Notebook Share
Apple has seen the single largest jump in notebook market share of all top manufacturers in North America, according to a new DisplaySearch report. The company's spring 2008 market share in North America surged year-over-year from 6.6 percent to 10.6 percent, moving it up to fourth place in the market and handing the Mac maker the single largest jump in market share of the top five. This surge came at the expense of other established notebook producers, with Acer plunging from 18.6 percent to 14.4 percent over the same period while Toshiba also lost significantly, dropping from 11.4 percent to exactly nine percent.
The dip points to a worsening situation at Acer, which acquired Gateway and Packard Bell last year but has seen its influence on the market gradually decline ever since the move. Gateway recently dropped direct sales with the acknowledgment that the move was to trim costs as well as to follow Acer's controversial retail-only business model. To DisplaySearch, the buyout was a short-term move that ultimately dragged down Acer by saddling it with low-performing partners.
"While the move immediately prevented competitors from getting more of a foothold in the rapidly growing US and European retail notebook PC sectors, the last few quarters' results clearly show that Acer is struggling to integrate the Gateway and Packard Bell brands into their portfolio," according to the analyst firm's notebook research director, John Jacobs. "Both Gateway and Packard Bell were losing notebook PC market share prior to their acquisition, but the acquisition has failed to reverse, or even halt that trend."
Dell and HP led the study in first and second place respectively but made only slight gains in market share. Dell edged up by 0.3 percent to 21.9 percent total share, while its fellow American rival grew its share by 0.2 percent to reach 21.4 percent.
Apple has yet to enter the top five in world share, where Acer also experienced a significant drop and lost its lead to HP, which now holds 20.5 percent of all notebook sales versus Acer's 17.9 percent. Dell, Toshiba and ASUS completed the top five.
Apple's performance isn't directly explained in the study, though the majority of its notebooks occupy the 13.3-inch to 16-inch size category that saw the largest worldwide gains over the 12-month period. Desktop replacement notebooks of 17 inches or larger dropped to just 7.5 percent of the market, while ultraportables (10.4 to 12.1 inches) now account for just four percent as netbooks steal their influence.
The market is likely to shift significantly over the summer and fall periods. Back-to-school and holiday shopping typically spikes sales and has also been accompanied by a slew of notebook introductions based on new AMD and Intel platforms. Apple in particular is believed to be launching major redesigns of its notebooks in the near future and, in the case of one analyst group, is said to be planning an aggressive price point for its entry-level models that could significantly improve its sales performance.