Lenovo topples HP to lead worldwide PC market for first time


Chinese vendor Lenovo has overtaken hardware giant HP to become the PC market's worldwide leader, after successfully shipping more kit than its arch-rival during the third quarter of 2012.

According to Gartner's Q3 PC shipment figures, Lenovo shipped 217,215 more units than HP during the three months to September and has seen its share of the market increase from 13.1 per cent in Q3 2011 to 15.7 per cent this year.

Conversely, HP suffered a year-on-year slide in market share from 17 per cent in 2011 to 15.5 per cent this year.

Retailers focused on clearing inventory in advance of the Windows 8 launch next month.

The market watcher attributed Lenovo's success to the firm's "aggressive positioning on pricing", which has helped it win more customers in the professional market.

This quarter marks the first time HP has been forced to surrender its title as the PC market leader since Q3 2006.

The news follows last week's warning from HP CEO, Meg Whitman, that most of its business units are expected to experience revenue slumps until at least 2014.

Overall, PC shipments were down by 8.3 per cent on Q3 2011, which Gartner has partly blamed on vendors and retailers clearing out stock to make way for the forthcoming launch of Windows 8.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, explained: "Retailers were conservative in placing orders as they responded to weak back-to-school sales [and] by the end of September, [they] were focused on clearing out inventory in advance of the Windows 8 launch next month."

The EMEA PC market appears to have been hit particularly hard during Q3, with Gartner research director, Ranjit Atwal, claiming the region suffered its worst shipments' decline in years .

"After two consecutive quarters of growth, this quarter saw the worst decline in EMEA PC shipments over the past four years," said Atwal.

"The lack of appeal and innovation in PCs, combined with a challenging economic environment, led consumer spend to move to other devices."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.