Lenovo hangs on to No 2 spot as global PC sales beat forecast

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 6:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 4:49pm

Chinese technology giant Lenovo Group held on to its position as the world’s second-largest supplier of personal computers in the third quarter, despite flat shipment growth that saw it struggle with weak notebook sales in North America.

Hong Kong-listed Lenovo shipped 14.5 million personal computers worldwide in the quarter ended September 30 to corner a 21.6 per cent share of the global market, behind market leader HP’s 22.8 per cent share on shipments of 15.3 million units, according to preliminary industry estimates from research firm IDC.

The results of the top two players last quarter marked some stability in the personal computer industry, which recorded just a 0.5 per cent year on year decrease in shipments to 60.3 million units during the period – better than IDC’s earlier prediction of a 1.4 per cent decline.

Loren Loverde, a vice-president at IDC, said the overall results “reflect the stabilisation we expected following component and inventory adjustments”.

Research firm Gartner, however, estimated a 3.6 per cent year on year fall in total global personal computer shipments to 67 million units in the third quarter.

“While there were signs of stabilisation in the PC industry in key regions, including Europe-Middle East-Africa, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the US market, which saw a 10 per cent year over year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season,” said Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner.

“Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region.”

Gartner indicated a much closer race between HP and Lenovo. It saw HP ship 14.6 million personal computers in the third quarter for a 21.8 per cent global share, while Lenovo secured a 21.4 per cent share on shipments of 14.3 million units in the same period.

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IDC, meanwhile, saw the component shortages of recent quarters continuing to improve and did not factor as a significant hindrance to production volumes by the world’s largest personal computer makers.

It said competitive pressures further cemented the dominance of the world’s top five personal computer suppliers, which accounted for nearly 75 per cent of the total market.

Third-ranked Dell shipped 10.8 million units for a 16.1 per cent global market share. Apple seized a 7.3 per cent share on shipments of 4.9 million units, while Taiwan’s Asus had a 6.2 per cent share on shipments of 4.2 million.

Gartner’s estimates had Dell with a 15.2 per cent share on shipments of 10.1 million units in the third quarter.

Asus was ranked fourth with a 7.3 per cent share on shipments of 4.9 million units, while Apple secured a 6.9 per cent share on shipments of 4.6 million.

“The gains in emerging regions and potential for more commercial replacements represent some upside potential, although we continue to expect incremental declines in total shipments for the next few years,” Loverde said.

Gartner’s Kitagawa said shortage in dynamic random-access memory components will “continue to the end of 2018, “but it will not be reflected in the final PC prices immediately”.