Lenovo sees PC sales increase 44pc
Lenovo chalked up the biggest sales gain among the world's top five personal computer suppliers in the first quarter, as their industry returned to positive growth this year.
The mainland computer giant saw its first-quarter desktop and laptop shipments climb 43.7 per cent to 11.7 million units, from 8.1 million units a year earlier, to seize a 13 per cent global market share and stay hot on the heels of industry leader Hewlett-Packard, according to preliminary estimates from market research firm IDC.
That was the 10th consecutive quarter in which Hong Kong-listed Lenovo outpaced the global personal computer market, despite a worldwide shortage of hard disk drives last quarter and competition from complementary computing devices such as media tablets.
Separate preliminary data from technology research company Gartner also found Lenovo with a 13 per cent market share, but calculated a 28 per cent year-on-year growth last quarter.
Both IDC and Gartner calculated a 2 per cent increase in global shipments of personal computers to 87 million units in the first three months of this year, exceeding their earlier projection of a 1 per cent decline during the period.
'The results were mixed depending on the region,' said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa. 'We saw the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region perform better than expected with PC shipments growing 6.7 per cent in the first quarter, while the Asia-Pacific was below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India and China.'
Personal computer shipments in the Asia-Pacific reached 30.3 million units, up 2 per cent from the same period last year, according to Gartner.
Desktop computer shipments on the mainland have decreased since the expiry last year of the government's rural subsidy programme, which helped spur purchases of electronics products and home appliances in the countryside.
Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing has remained upbeat about the company's prospects in its home market. 'The growth momentum in the China PC market will continue ... due to its healthy economic growth and the relatively low PC penetration rates in emerging cities,' he said in February.
IDC and Gartner both credited Lenovo for continuing to expand its distribution channels outside China to boost its computer sales.
Lenovo, which acquired the personal computer division of IBM for US$1.75 billion in 2005, paid about Euro466 million (HK$4.7 billion) to take over German consumer electronics firm Medion last year and expanded its presence in Europe. It also invested US$175 million last year in a joint venture with NEC and became the biggest supplier in Japan.
Despite its solid performance last quarter, Lenovo saw its share price slip 0.54 per cent to close at HK$7.31 yesterday.