Lenovo Ousts HP As World's No. 1 PC Maker: IDC


Reigning PC champ Hewlett-Packard, for the first time in seven years, lost its iron-fisted grip of the worldwide PC market to Chinese PC maker to Lenovo, according to the latest numbers from market research firm IDC.

According to IDC's Wednesday announcement on PC shipments, the worldwide PC pecking order for the second quarter of 2013 is now: Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and ASUS. But those bragging rights are tempered by the fact the PC market as a whole is down 11.4 percent and not one PC maker saw positive growth, IDC said.

Lenovo robs HP of the No. 1 worldwide title by a slim margin, with 12.6 million PCs shipped in the second quarter -- compared to HP with 12.4 million, according to IDC. Lenovo took the top PC spot mainly because its sales fell less than its rivals. Acer saw the biggest decline in its PC business with a 32.6 percent drop in PC shipped compared to the same time last year, the market research firm said. ASUS saw a 21.1 percent drop in units shipped in the same time period, and Dell comes in with a 4.2 percent drop, according to IDC.

[Related: Tablet Shipments To Be Neck-And-Neck With PCs By 2014: Gartner]

HP had enjoyed a seven-year reign as the world's No. 1 PC maker since 2006, according to IDC numbers. Here in the U.S., HP retains its top PC seller spot ahead of Dell, Apple, Lenovo and Acer, according to IDC. IDC's worldwide and domestic PC shipment numbers include those to the distribution channels and end users, the research firm said.

In a phone interview with CRN, Jay Chou, senior research analyst, IDC Worldwide PC Tracker, said Lenovo took the top spot due in large part to its success selling PCs in China, which represents over half of Lenovo second-quarter shipments, and other emerging markets such as India and Brazil. "It's a very challenging time in the market right now," Chou said. On the downside, Lenovo ended the quarter with a double-digit decline in Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan; however, it still managed to outpace its rivals.

On Wednesday Lenovo issued a statement by Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo chairman and CEO: "Even in the toughest PC market ever, Lenovo has not only gained share, but we have steadily improved profitability. ... In our traditional strongholds -- China and global commercial PCs -- we have continued to gain share and build sustainable profit engines."

Retirement of XP systems contributed to some good news.

The silver lining in Wednesday's numbers is that HP and Dell saw growth improve over recent quarters, indicating possible stronger performance in coming months and reflecting a move by companies and consumers to replace aging XP computers as support ends for the OS in 2014, Chou said.

"The U.S. market is beginning to reflect some of the Windows XP to Windows 7 transition we've been expecting in the commercial PC space, as evidenced by the strong growth in the enterprise-focused Dell PC business," wrote Bob O'Donnell, IDC's program vice president, clients and displays.

There was more to cheer about here in the U.S. market, according to IDC. PC shipments among all computer makers slipped just 1.9 percent -- a big improvement from the previous three quarters of double-digit declines. IDC attributes the good news to "wider selections of Windows 8 models offered by top vendors and migration from Window XP to Win7," which pushed the volume to a higher-than expected level.

According to IDC, Dell, despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding its restructuring, performed above market with a decline of 4.5 percent. Dell managed to climb above 3.8 million units for the first time since 2011, gaining a few points of share in the U.S. PC market, IDC said. HP maintained its leadership position, growing roughly even with the market. These two vendors represented more than 50 percent of total U.S. PC shipments in the second quarter of 2013, IDC said.

PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2013