HP led the PC market in the fourth quarter, but it was Lenovo that impressed, with 37 percent growth, IDC said. HDD shortages and distracted consumers affected all players.
while off-kilter and falling 16 percent year-over-year, led the global PC
industry in sales through a fourth quarter that met analyst expectations
despite a mixed-bag of factors, IDC and Gartner reported Jan. 11.
Lenovo, again inserting itself between long-time rivals HP and Dell, posted
record growth of nearly 37 percent over the same period last year, by IDC's
count-23 percent by Gartner's-while third-place Dell rose nearly 8 percent
shipped about 92 million units globally, down about 0.2 percent over the fourth
quarter of 2010, according to IDC. Analysts from both Gartner and IDC explained
the sluggish sales by pointing to weak holiday shipments, global economic
uncertainty, hard-disk drive (HDD) shortages due to flooding in Thailand and,
in the case of HP, consumer uncertainty until new CEO Meg Whitman more firmly
grabbed hold of the reins.
challenges, which still also included the upcoming launch of Microsoft's
Windows 8 and a need for more mobile PC design, "the industry appears to
be on the right path, and will be poised for substantial double-digit growth
after working through these issues in 2012," Loren Loverde, IDC vice
president of Worldwide Consumer Device Trackers, said in a statement.
estimates, HP shipped 15.1 million units during the quarter, and despite recent
wobbles, "may recover its stride in coming quarters," thanks to a refocus
on business stabilization by Whitman, the research firm said in its statement.
shipments of 13 million units, "cemented its place as the No. 2 vendor in
global PC shipments," reported Gartner, attributing the success to
aggressive pricing in both professional and consumer markets.
nearly 12 million units, ended the year on a happy note by both accounts,
driven by upgrades to Windows 7 and strong response in the Asia-Pacific region,
though it continues to try for new high-margin opportunities in other key
Acer took fourth place, with nearly 9.7 million units-down 8 percent year-over-year-followed
by Asus with sales of 6.2 million, representing a hearty 26 percent uptick.
Enjoying growth in all regions, and moving past its backlog of netbooks, Asus
put a nice distance between itself and Toshiba.
In the United
States, only Apple, in third place, enjoyed year-over-year growth.
estimates, HP led with shipments of 4.1 million units-down 26 percent-followed
by Dell with 4 million units, down 4.5 percent year-over-year. Apple, shipping
2 million units, posted nearly 21 percent growth. A fourth-place Toshiba, with
nearly 2 million shipments, dipped 2.2 percent, and Acer, moving 1.8 million
units, fell 11.4 percent.
In total, U.S.
PC sales, at 17.9 million units, fell nearly 6 percent from the same quarter a
year ago. Gartner analysts said consumers' attention was instead on smartphones
and tablets, though all-in-one desktops and large screens with high-definition
viewing drew eyeballs. Going with the trend, Lenovo and Acer are rumored to be planning new Windows 8
tablets for this year, running on the Intel's upcoming Atom chips
known as "Clover Trail."
United States, market saturation and the economic environment continue to weigh
considerably on consumer demand," David Daoud, IDC research director of
personal computing, said in the report. "However, the market is awaiting
new products and technologies, promising a new refresh cycle starting in 3Q12
and beyond with a return to positive growth in the midterm."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.