Lenovo closer to pulling the plug on rival HP's lead
Lenovo has inched nearer to becoming the world's top personal computer supplier this year after closing the market share gap with Hewlett-Packard in the second quarter.
The Chinese technology giant's global market share rose to 14.7 per cent in the quarter to June from 12.7 per cent a year earlier, while industry leader HP slid to a 14.9 per cent share from 16.9 per cent, according to preliminary estimates released yesterday by market analyst group Gartner.
Research firm IDC's preliminary numbers showed Lenovo's second-quarter market share was up at 14.9 per cent from 11.9 per cent the previous year, while HP's was at 15.5 per cent, down from 17.6 per cent. This was the biggest market share gain posted last quarter among the industry's top-five players, which includes Dell, Acer and AsusTek Computer.
The personal computer industry, however, saw flat global sales growth last quarter as the new laptop segment known as 'ultrabooks' failed to ignite significant market interest. This category of thin and light notebooks, which run Microsoft's Windows operating system and Intel's advanced new processors, was created as an alternative to Apple's popular MacBook Air.
'We don't expect PCs using Windows 8 to boost growth significantly until the fourth quarter, which leads to a conservative outlook for the third quarter,' IDC research director David Daoud said.
Gartner calculates total personal computer shipments in the quarter to June stalled at 87.5 million units, about the same as the previous year. IDC estimates that shipments slipped to 86.7 million units from 86.8 million.
Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner, attributed the industry slowdown to 'uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumers' low interest in PC purchases' amid robust demand for media tablets and smartphones.
But Lenovo, the world's second-largest personal computer supplier, bucked that trend due to 'aggressive pricing' and expanded international distribution that hurt rivals HP and Dell, according to Gartner.
Lenovo made solid gains in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
IDC said the Hong Kong-listed company's shipments last quarter climbed 25.2 per cent to 12.9 million units, up from 10.3 million a year earlier. Gartner estimates a 14 per cent growth to 12.8 million units from 11.2 million.
Shares of Lenovo, which acquired the personal computer division of International Business Machines in 2005, advanced 2.03 per cent to close at HK$6.02 in trading yesterday.