Gartner Puts Lenovo In No. 1 Spot, HP Prefers IDC Q3 Figures

Whether Lenovo or HP shipped more PCs during this year's third quarter depends on whom you ask: Gartner says it was it was Lenovo, while IDC says HP held on.

PC giant Hewlett-Packard responded to Gartner's Oct. 11 report on this year's third-quarter PC shipments by pointing interested parties to instead a report from research firm IDC.

While Gartner's data found HP to have relinquished the No. 1 spot—which it has held since the third quarter of 2006—to Lenovo, IDC's data had HP still in possession of the crown, if only by its fingertips.

Lenovo shipped 13.7 million PCs during the quarter, for a 15.7 percent market share, followed by HP shipments of 13.6 million PCs for a 15.5 percent share, according to Gartner.

IDC, by contrast, found HP to have shipped 13.9 million PCs for a 15.9 percent share and Lenovo 13.8 million, for 15.7 percent of the market.

"While there are a variety of PC share reports in the market, some don't measure the market in its entirety," HP said in an Oct. 10 statement. "The IDC analysis includes the very important workstation segment and therefore is more comprehensive."

Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang said in a response that the analyst figures reaffirm that Lenovo's formula for success is working. "We know the PC market is highly competitive, but also firmly believe there is room for continued profitable growth in this space," said Yang.

He continued:

Becoming the clear leader in global PC share of course remains one of Lenovo’s aspirations, but it also only represents one more milestone in our journey as a company and our mission to become the leader in the PC+ era. This includes PCs, tablets, smart phone, smart TV, cloud and enterprise computing. Our goal is to make Lenovo not only a leading PC+ brand, but also one of the most respected companies in the world.

Generally agreed upon is that for the worldwide PC market the quarter was a bust, falling between 8 and 9 percent from a year ago as Microsoft's Oct. 26 introduction of the Windows 8 operating system caused many to delay purchases and a weak global economy put off still other sales.

"The third quarter has historically been driven by back-to-school sales, but U.S. PC shipments did not increase, not even sequentially, from the second quarter of 2012," Mikako Kitagawa, a Gartner principal analyst, said in an Oct. 11 statement.

"Professional PC shipments in the U.S. began slowing in the second quarter of this year and they continued the trend in the third quarter," Kitagawa added. Retailers, responding to weak back-to-school sales, were conservative in their orders "The results indicate that the replacement peak may have passed in the professional sector."

In total, Gartner found 87.5 million PCs to have shipped during the quarter.

"Lenovo took the No. 1 position in worldwide PC shipments for the first time in the company's history," Gartner wrote, adding that Lenovo has "taken an aggressive position on pricing, especially in the professional market."

Hewlett-Packard, it wrote, "is currently restructuring its device business, including PCs, tablets and printers. HP's main concern is achieving a good balance between market-share gain and margin protection."

Of the top-five vendors on the world stage, only Lenovo and No. 5 Asus posted growth. No. 3 Dell fell 13.7 percent annually and finished with a 10.5 percent share of the market, followed by Acer, with a 10.2 percent loss, which saw its share drop to 9.9 percent.

In the United States, HP undisputedly led, despite a fall of 19.3 percent year-over-year, and was followed by Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba, respectively. Of the six, Lenovo was the only one to post positive growth, which enabled it to rise to fourth place from its sixth-place U.S. finish a year ago.

Lenovo CEO Yang, in his statement, continued:

We are setting our sights on delivering long-term, profitable growth, while leading the way forward into the PC+ era. To achieve this, we have a clear strategy and we are step-by-step building a company that is both globally connected and fully localized. We are establishing even deeper roots in each major market around the world. In addition to localized sales and distribution teams in major markets, we are establishing an even stronger manufacturing footprint; investing in R&D; and ensuring that top local talents are in place to build a strong competitive advantage and a winning business. This global reach with local excellence sees us creating a “global local” company and positions us to more deeply implement our Protect and Attack strategy, the foundation for our long-term success.

Today’s numbers are of course encouraging, and Lenovo will continue to execute our strategy, deliver great new products, and grow our business around the world so we can achieve all our goals over time.

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