HP has been toppled from the top spot in the Europe, Middle East and Africa PC-selling league by Acer, partly as a result of Acer's success in the booming netbook market.
Although HP retained its leading position in the global stakes, according to Gartner's preliminary results for the third quarter of this year, Acer moved up from second place in the EMEA region. Globally, Acer remained in third place, with Dell in second place. Gartner's report came out on Tuesday.
According to the report, HP "was impacted by a slower entry into the mini-notebook market, losing the top position in EMEA". The report identified Acer and Asus as two manufacturers that have particularly benefited from sales of netbooks, or low-cost subnotebooks.
"The PC market in EMEA was largely dictated by vendors that shipped mini-notebooks and those that did not, resulting in significant movements in the top five vendor rankings," said Ranjit Atwal, a principal analyst for client computing markets. "HP delayed its introduction of mini-notebooks into the market, potentially fearing cannibalisation of its existing notebook markets, but did not anticipate that Acer would be able to ramp up its channels so quickly."
Atwal pointed out that Acer had shipped "significant volumes" of netbooks to telecommunications operators in Western Europe.
The third quarter of this year appears to be the first time HP has slipped from top place in EMEA PC sales since it merged with Compaq in 2002. Acer's figures also include sales from its Gateway and Packard Bell subsidiaries.