Fujitsu, Toshiba Reportedly Could Merge PC Businesses
That includes NEC, which in 2011 created a joint venture with Chinese vendor Lenovo to sell PCs in Japan. By contrast, Lenovo has aggressively expanded its reach beyond China since it bought IBM's PC business in 2005 for $1.25 billion, Kay said. The company, which is the world's top PC vendor, has offices throughout the world and executives from a broad range of countries, while the Japanese remained tied to the Japanese market. A merger might help with scale and costs, but it will likely have little impact on the global market, he said. "They've been in this situation for a while, and I think they're approaching the end game," Kay said. The analyst also noted that the merger among the Japanese firms would be only part of a larger consolidation trend within the PC market. Others in the industry also expect consolidation to continue. Dell CEO Michael Dell, in a roundtable discussion in September, said that within the next to seven years, he expects the world's top three vendors—Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell—will grab as much as 80 percent of the global PC market. In the third quarter, Gartner analysts had those three companies holding 60.2 percent of the market for PC shipments.
Endpoint's Kay said that the PC market isn't going to disappear; there are still about 300 million systems that ship every year, "but it's not in its growth phase, it's in the consolidation phase. .. The consolidation pressure is throughout the industry. The top three will take share from smaller players, but even they are not immune to the market pressures."