Lenovo remained the world's fastest-growing supplier of personal computers last year, but was edged out by rival Hewlett-Packard as global market leader.
The mainland technology giant continued to outpace its industry rivals by boosting personal computer shipments 8.2 per cent in the fourth quarter and 19.2 per cent for the full year, according to preliminary estimates by market research firm IDC.
The sales slump worsened in the past quarter, as shipments during the Christmas holiday season fell for the first time in more than five years. IDC attributed the slowdown to lingering economic woes worldwide and greater consumer interest in smartphones and media tablets.
Sales of personal computers that run on Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system have been lacklustre.
Jay Chou, a senior research analyst at IDC, said computer makers' efforts to clear their inventory of products running on Windows 7 in the third quarter "did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in the fourth quarter".
Lenovo, which operates in more than 160 countries, shipped a record 14.1 million personal computers in the past quarter for a new high of 15.7 per cent global market share. For the full year, it gained a 14.9 per cent market share with sales of 52.4 million.
Despite that positive performance, IDC said Lenovo's gains were "significantly smaller than several quarters ago when the company was besting market growth by nearly 30 per cent".
IDC said HP recovered from its struggles in the third quarter to seize a 16.7 per cent global market share in the fourth quarter and 16.5 per cent share for the full year. That was good enough for HP to narrowly hold on to its spot as the world's leading supplier of personal computers.
Technology research firm Gartner, however, had reported that Lenovo unseated HP in the third quarter to become the top personal computer supplier.
"The [IDC] analyst's numbers were generally in line with what was expected," Lenovo spokeswoman Angela Lee said yesterday.
Lenovo's shares rose 0.78 per cent to HK$7.72 yesterday.