Global sales of PCs bounced back in the first quarter as suppliers from the Far East took advantage of the improving economy
Preliminary data by Gartner shows shipments totalled 84.3 million, up 27.4% on a year ago, exceeding the analyst's previous forecast of 22% and providing further evidence that the gradual economic recovery continues.
"The stronger-then-expected growth was led by a robust recovery in the EMEA PC market, which grew 24.8%," said Mikako Kitigawa, Gartner principal analyst.
He believed the results indicated that the long awaited corporate refresh in ageing PC fleets has begun, "with a relatively positive macroeconomic outlook, business demand was more forthcoming".
This will become more apparent in the second half of the year as Windows 7 drives replacement cycles into next year, Gartner said.
However, perhaps more explosive than the market's emphatic return to growth, are the developments at the top of the market between the major protagonists.
Acer sales climbed 54.2% as the vendor leapfrogged Dell into second spot with 14.2% market share and edged closer to HP (18.2%), after both US vendors grew below the worldwide average by 19.9% and 21.4% respectively.
Gartner said Acer had grown well across all regions as it was able to use its relatively low op-ex to its advantage.
"Acer's business model allows it to meet price points that other vendors find difficult to match," the analyst commented.
Lenovo also enjoyed a bumper quarter with growth of 59.2% to cement its fourth position, ahead of ASUS and Toshiba which grew 114.8% and 35.8%.
With Samsung potentially coming more aggressively into the market, and the corporate enterprise PC refresh favouring HP and Dell, competition is set to intensify and continued consolidation is perceived to be a near-certainty.
A version of this story appeared on MicroScope.co.uk.