It's been a tough year for makers of personal computers as well as for those who manufacture DRAM modules used in PCs. A combination of worsening economic conditions, a shortage of hard drives, and the ever-growing competition from tablets such as Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPad drove down PC shipments in the third quarter of 2011.
The mobile-PC market was hit hard with a 12.6% drop, pushed by a more than 40% crash in shipments of mini-notebooks. The consumer segment has also taken a huge beating, down 18.8% compared with last year. Though the migration to Windows 7 was estimated to boost sales, the professional segment slumped 2.1%.
While HP (NYSE: HPQ ) maintained its No. 1 position despite a 7.5% fall, Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) saw a 10% decline. The biggest loser was Acer, with a jaw-dropping 45% fall in demand in comparison with last year.