Lenovo Falls To No. 4 In U.S. PC Market Behind Apple

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The U.S. PC market declined more than 10 percent in the third quarter, setting off a feeding frenzy among major vendors hungry for share and sensing Lenovo's blood in the water.

Statistics released recently by research firm Gartner Inc. clearly show a steep drop in U.S. PC shipments for Lenovo as the Beijing, China, manufacturer loses share to competitors HP Inc., Dell and Apple and moves to develop a channel strategy to counter broad market pressures.

Lenovo acknowledged recently that increasing memory and component costs had prompted it to adjust PC distribution pricing and cut back-end rebates in an attempt to keep prices stable for commercial customers and drive partners to sell more profitable, higher-end machines.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Lenovo's Kinlaw On Channel Program Changes, Cost Increases, CDW And The E-Tail Threat To Partners]

Partners told CRN that the changes would shave margins on Lenovo PC deals to razor-thin levels and push them toward competing vendors like HP Inc. and Dell. According to Gartner's statistics, though, that move may be underway already.

Lenovo's U.S. PC shipments fell more than 25 percent in the third quarter, the steepest year-over-year decline since its 2005 acquisition of IBM's PC business, Gartner said.

Lenovo's decline not only benefitted HP Inc. and Dell, but it also allowed Apple to overtake it as the third-largest PC firm in the U.S. market. Moreover, while all of the top manufacturers saw shipment declines in the quarter, none were nearly as deep as Lenovo's, and HP Inc., Dell and Apple all registered at least nominal share gains while Lenovo lost share, according to Gartner.

HP Inc. shipped 4.7 million PCs in the U.S. in the third quarter, keeping it firmly atop that market with a 31.6 percent market share. Dell was the second-biggest U.S. PC vendor during the quarter, shipping 3.8 million units during the period and commanding a 25.6 percent market share, according to Gartner.

Shipping 1.9 million units in the U.S. during the quarter was enough to give Apple a 12.8 percent share of the market and propel it beyond Lenovo, which shipped 1.8 million units, Gartner said.

Shipment totals for HP, Dell and Apple represent year-over-year declines of 2.7 percent, 5.6 percent and 7.6 percent respectively. Lenovo's total represented a year-over-year decline of 25.2 percent and was accompanied by a market share that slid to 12.2 percent from 14.7 percent a year earlier, Gartner said.

Conversely, HP, Dell and Apple each made small year-over-year market share gains, Gartner said.

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