* Research house IDC still ranks HP in the lead
* Lenovo shares rise nearly 2 pct in Hong Kong trade
* HP stock touches lowest level since October
By Poornima Gupta and Lee Chyen Yee
SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG, Oct 11 China's Lenovo
Group Ltd edged out Silicon Valley icon
Hewlett-Packard Co to become the world's No. 1 PC maker
in the third quarter, according to data released by research
house Gartner on Wednesday.
A rival to Gartner, IDC, still ranks HP in the lead - but by
less than half a percentage point - in terms of PC shipments
worldwide. Both studies reinforce HP's struggles against rivals
as new chief executive Meg Whitman tries to overhaul the stalled
Worldwide shipments of personal computers fell over 8
percent in the third quarter to 87.5 million, the steepest
decline since 2001, Gartner analysts said.
PC demand growth has crumbled over the past year as more
consumers flock to ultra-portable and increasingly powerful
tablets and smartphones for basic computing.
"It's quite a tough year for PC makers because (Microsoft's)
Windows 8 is not launched yet and some consumers are
waiting for that. Cannibalisation of tablet PCs is also another
factor," said Eve Jung, an analyst with Nomura Securities in
Both sets of data show that Lenovo, Taiwan's Acer
and other Asian PC makers are taking share away from U.S.
competitors HP and Dell, which held on to the No. 3
spot in the quarter.
Lenovo, which has a market value of $8.2 billion, said it
believed there was room for continued growth in the sector.
"We are establishing even deeper roots in each major market
around the world. In addition to localised sales and
distribution teams in major markets, we are establishing an even
stronger manufacturing footprint," Lenovo Chairman and CEO
Yuanqing Yang said in a statement.
This year the company has bought Brazilian electronics maker
CCE, valued at a base price of 300 million reais ($148 million),
and U.S. cloud computing firm Stoneware.
CHINA'S TECH RISE
Lenovo's rise highlights the advance of China's technology
firms on the world stage in recent years as a result of
aggressive pricing, overseas acquisitions, and taking advantage
of a fast-growing home market.
The Chinese company, which vaulted into the PC market by
buying IBM's personal computer division in 2005, took
the top spot for the first time by growing its market share to
15.7 percent, shipping an estimated 13.77 million units during
the quarter, up nearly 10 percent from a year ago, Gartner said.
HP's global PC share stood at 15.5 percent after shipping
13.55 million units, down 16.4 percent from a year ago, Gartner
said, adding that this was the first time HP has not been the
top-ranked PC vendor position since 2006.
IDC had HP at the No. 1 spot with a 15.9 percent market
share, marginally ahead of Lenovo's 15.7 percent share.
HP responded to Gartner's study by saying IDC's was more
"While there are a variety of PC share reports in the
market, some don't measure the market in its entirety," HP said
in a statement. "The IDC analysis includes the very important
workstation segment, and therefore is more comprehensive."
HP shares closed 1.32 percent lower at $14.18 on Wednesday,
after touching $14.02, its lowest level since October 2002.
Lenovo's shares ended up 0.3 percent on Thursday, compared
with a 0.4 rise in the benchmark Hong Kong index.
Since the start of 2012, Lenovo's shares have risen more
than 9 percent, in contrast to a roughly 40 percent drop in HP's
stock, a 35 percent fall in Dell and Acer's 21 percent slide.
Analysts say PC makers are suffering from still-sluggish
growth in consumer and corporate spending across the globe, even
in once-reliably hot markets like China, Lenovo's home turf. The
industry's future is uncertain, partly because of a
proliferation of computing devices from tablets of all sizes to
"PCs are going through a severe slump," said Jay Chou,
senior research analyst at IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker.
"A weak global economy as well as questions about PC market
saturation and delayed replacement cycles are certainly a
factor, but the hard question of what is the 'it' product for
PCs remain unanswered."