The boom in volume sales of cheap laptops would appear to have paid off for Acer . According to analyst iSuppli , the company has supplanted Lenovo to become the world's third-largest computer manufacturer by volume.

Taiwan-based Acer posted the best growth among the top five PC suppliers on a year-over-year basis during the first few months of 2007. PC shipments rose by 45.8 per cent to reach 4.2 million units in the first quarter of 2007. These were up from 2.9 million in the first quarter of 2006.

Acer's improved performance garnered a market share of 6.8 per cent, up from five per cent in the first quarter of 2006.

"Acer conquered the number three position in notebook shipments in the fourth quarter, and captured the third position in the overall PC market in the first quarter," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms for iSuppli. "Acer achieved significant growth in shipments of both desktop and notebook platforms in the first quarter of 2007 relative to the same period in 2006.

"Acer has momentum, is competing aggressively, and its strong channel presence is clearly paying dividends for both desktop and notebook shipments. While Lenovo led Acer in desktop PC shipments in the first quarter, Acer's lead in notebooks was even greater."