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HP regains PC lead over Lenovo

Lenovo Windows 8 laptop

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 14 Jan 2013 at 12:10

HP has regained the top spot in PC shipments, fending off a challenge from Lenovo in the previous quarter, according to Gartner.

Globally, HP has 16.2% market share, followed by Lenovo at 15.5%, with Dell, Acer and Asus rounding out the top five.

However, Lenovo posted the strongest shipment growth, up 8.2% from the fourth quarter in 2011, while HP was flat and Dell slid 21%.

Across Europe, HP had a much stronger lead over Lenovo, with a 19% market share over its Chinese rival's 11%. However, HP's shipments were down 8.3%, and Lenovo was the only PC firm to post growth in Europe, with a whopping 29% leap.

The end of the year is a key sales period for PC makers, but the fourth quarter of 2012 saw overall shipments slide even further, down 4.6% globally and 9.6% in Europe.

Top PC makers

Here's the latest top five global PC shipment rankings from Gartner:

HP - 19.1%

Lenovo - 11%

Acer - 10.7%

Asus - 10%

Dell - 8.4%

In Europe, laptop shipments fell 11%, while desktops were down 6%, noted Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner. "However, all-in-one models from Asus, Lenovo and HP look like a promising platform for the future."

The arrival of Windows 8 didn't help PCs overcome the challenge from tablets, Gartner said - echoing rival analyst firm IDC's report last week.

Gartner said "some PC vendors offered somewhat lacklustre form factors in their Windows 8 offerings and missed the excitement of touch".

"The launch of Windows 8 had no impact on PC demand, especially as ultramobile products were both limited in supply, as well as being priced too high," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

Structural shift

Gartner said tablets weren't merely "cannibalising" sales - their success marks a "structural shift" in how people use computing devices.

"Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by 'cannibalising' PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. She said analysts had predicted users would own a PC and a tablet, but instead most people are shifting to a tablet each and a shared PC.

"There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm," she added. "Therefore, we hypothesise that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet."

The shift was triggered by cheaper tablets that hit shelves last year, but Kitagawa said there is a silver lining for manufacturers: the PCs that are selling will be more powerful and have higher prices.

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