Lenovo rises as PC sales decline
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell sharply in the third quarter as many consumers spent their money on smartphones and tablets and others held off for a new version of Windows.
One research firm estimated that Chinese PC maker Lenovo outsold Hewlett-Packard for the first time to become the world's largest seller of PCs.
Gartner said global PC shipments fell 8.3% to 87.5 million, while IDC said the decline was 8.6% to 87.8 million. Their reports came hours after a third research firm, IHS iSuppli, projected that PC shipments are bound for their first annual decline in 11 years.
PC makers began the year with hope that a new wave of lightweight laptops called ultrabooks would provide a sales lift. But ultrabooks have not been compelling enough to overcome the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers, which are reducing the need for consumers and businesses to buy new PCs or replace older ones.
Gartner and IDC agreed that Lenovo was the only one of the top four PC makers that saw an increase in shipments, thanks to low prices. Lenovo vaulted on to the international scene when it bought IBM's PC division in 2005. It's been the number two PC maker in the world for a few years, behind Hewlett-Packard.
According to Gartner, Lenovo saw worldwide shipments grow 9.8% to 13.8 million in the third quarter, giving it a market share of 15.7%. HP's shipments fell 16% from last year to 13.6 million, for a share of 15.5%.
IDC had HP on top with 13.9 million and a share of 15.9%, with Lenovo close behind at 13.8 million, or 15.7%.
HP, which has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, issued a statement saying some reports "don't measure the market in its entirety. The IDC analysis includes the very important workstation segment and therefore is more comprehensive. In that IDC report, HP occupies the number one position in PCs".
Both reports are based on estimates. Companies will start releasing their numbers over the next few weeks as part of quarterly earnings reports.
Dell, of Texas, and Acer, of Taiwan, are third and fourth in both reports. AsusTek, also of Taiwan, is fifth.