HP is leading the way in the laptops league, with 17.7 per cent of the world notebook market, new figures have revealed.
According to market research firm DisplaySearch, HP exceeded its nearest rival Dell's shipments by 50,000 units in the third quarter of 2006, reclaiming the top title. This is the first time the company has been at the top of the table since the third quarter of 2005, with a quarter-on-quarter growth of 36 per cent ensuring its lead.
Dell was relegated to second place, with 17.5 per cent of the market and a growth of 16 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo made up the remaining top five laptop manufacturers.
However, on a regional scale, the figures were a little different. HP only led in Asia Pacific and Latin America. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Acer took the lead, while Dell had the lion's share of the market in North America. The brand also managed to outpace total global market growth, at 49 per cent year-on-year.
Other smaller brands also fared well, with Apple experiencing 63 per cent growth year-on-year, and Sony garnered a 47 per cent growth rate despite problems with exploding laptop batteries documented during the year. The two brands were the only ones who shipped 100 percent of their notebooks with wide displays. This was followed by Acer and Gateway, with 98 per cent.
"Differences in the penetration of wide aspect ratio notebooks for each brand are dependent upon a number of factors," said John Jacobs, director of notebook market research at DisplaySearch.
"For a long time, many brands promoted wide as a differentiating factor, and charged a premium for these products, even after panel prices between comparable wide and standard aspect panels disappeared. Brands that were hungry for market share were quick to drop the street price premium, even running 'free-upgrade' promotions encouraging customers to make the transition. Additionally, brands with a heavier reliance on the enterprise market faced the additional hurdle of convincing IT managers to embrace wide products and support additional configurations."
DisplaySearch is expecting this trend for wide displays to continue into 2007, growing to more than 87 per cent of the market.
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