Lenovo Group bolstered its lead at the top of Asia's personal computer market in the second quarter following six weak months, helped by a solid recovery on the mainland. 'Economic conditions continued to weigh down commercial buying in most countries, but China helped to save the region,' said Bryan Ma, the director of Asia-Pacific personal systems research at International Data Corp (IDC). 'What a relief that the Asia market was no longer in the red last quarter.' Preliminary data from IDC estimated Lenovo, the world's fourth-largest personal computer supplier, secured an 18.5 per cent second-quarter market share in the Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, from 16.3 per cent in the first quarter. The mainland technology company had clung precariously to its No 1 position in the region in the quarter to March, when global leader Hewlett-Packard saw its market share grow to 15.6 per cent. 'Lenovo got back on its feet, in part due to the seasonal recovery from the Lunar New Year slowdown in Greater China during the prior quarter,' Mr Ma said. Improved market confidence fuelled by Beijing's economic stimulus efforts saw the mainland's second-quarter personal computer shipments rise to 12 million units from 8.9 million units in the first three months of the year. That robust gain boosted shipments in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) to 19.9 million units in the quarter to last month from 16.9 million units in the previous quarter. A report from Deutsche Bank Equity Research said: 'Our channel checks suggest that personal computer demand is recovering, though [it is] not a substantial rebound.' HP, the mainland's No 2 personal computer vendor after Lenovo, seized a 16.2 per cent regional share in the second quarter. The last time HP overtook Lenovo to claim top spot in Asia was in the first quarter of 2005 when Lenovo was about to complete the acquisition of International Business Machines Corp's personal computer business. Mr Ma said Asia's second-quarter performance also saw stronger than expected growth in laptop sales, including low-cost, internet-ready mini-notebooks or netbooks. 'Ongoing consumer interest in portable personal computers will continue to be the key,' he said. Deutsche Bank estimated Lenovo's global laptop computer market share had improved to 9.6 per cent in the second quarter from 7.6 per cent in the previous quarter. Although consumer sales have picked up, soft demand in the corporate sector and squeezed margins due to low product prices are expected to result in a few more losing quarters for Lenovo this year. 'We expect Lenovo to report quarterly losses for the June and September quarters and return to profit in the December quarter, owing to recovering demand, especially in China, and on its restructuring efforts,' Deutsche Bank said.