HP Tops PC Sales, Lenovo Beats Dell for 2nd Spot

Two top analyst firms said this week that growth in sales of new PCs worldwide was slow in the third quarter of 2011, although the good news is that they were not slipping into negative territory.

However, both firms — Gartner and IDC — reported figures that were down from predictions they had made previously for the quarter.

Much about the two companies’ market intelligence has been similar in recent PC reports, though, which may be an indicator of the data’s overall accuracy.

For instance, Gartner’s report found that some 91.8 million PCs were sold globally during the quarter, up 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2010, but a bit lower than the 5.1 percent growth the firm had originally projected.

IDC, meanwhile, pegged worldwide PC sales at 91.9 million units for the quarter, with growth of 3.6 percent year-over-year, an increase from 2.7 percent in the second quarter, but fell short of its own earlier projections for the third quarter of 4.5 percent, according to IDC’s most recent Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Both firms’ analysts pointed to at least one common culprit for the shortfall that has become a trend recently — tablet computers.

“The popularity of non-PC devices, including media tablets, such as the iPad and smartphones, took consumers’ spending away from PCs,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in that firm’s statement.

“For the moment, PCs have taken a backseat to a range of other devices competing for shrinking consumer and business budgets,” Jay Chou, IDC senior research analyst, also said in a statement.

Additionally, in both firms’ playbooks, the players have had a rank change. While HP remains the largest PC vendor globally, in the third quarter, Lenovo pulled ahead of Dell for second place.

Gartner said that Lenovo now has 13.5 percent share of the world PC market, ahead of Dell’s 11.6 percent — partly due to the Chinese manufacturer’s recent merger with Japan’s NEC.

Similarly, IDC ranks Lenovo in second place for the first time ever, also with 13.7 percent versus 12 percent for Dell.

Gartner ranked HP with 17.7 percent share, while IDC rated the company’s share at 18.1 percent.

Meantime, Acer came in at fourth with 10.6 percent, according to Gartner, followed by Asus at fifth with 6.2 percent. IDC also had Acer at 10 percent, and Asus at 6.5 percent.


Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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