SAN FRANCISCO—Hewlett-Packard Co. and Lenovo Group Ltd. continued to fight for the No. 1 position in PC shipments in the third quarter, turning in shipment totals so similar that two major market research firms disagreed about which firm was the leader in the quarter.
Gartner Inc. (Stamford, Conn.) said Wednesday (Oct. 10) that Lenovo took over as the market leader in PC shipments in the third quarter for the first time in the company's history, while International Data Corp. (IDC) reported that HP continued to cling to a slight lead over its Chinese rival. Both firms said the difference in the companies' market share during the quarter was within two-tenths of a percentage point, with each holding close to 16 percent of the market by units.
[Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]
Both Gartner and IDC (Framingham, Mass.) said third quarter PC unit shipments declined by more than 8 percent compared with the third quarter of 2011. A third market research firm, IHS iSuppli, said Wednesday that PC sales are now projected to decline in 2012 compared to 2011, which would mark the first annual contraction in PC shipments since the dot com bust year of 2001.
PC market conditions have steadily deteriorated throughout 2012 in the face of continuing global economic woes and consumer enthusiasm for other types of mobile computing devices, especially smartphones and tablets.
"There was great hope through the first half that 2012 would prove to be a rebound year for the PC market," said Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for computer systems at IHS, in a statement. “Now three quarters through the year, the usual boost from the back-to-school season appears to be a bust, and both AMD and Intel’s third-quarter outlooks appear to be flat to down. Optimism has vanished and turned to doubt, and the industry is now training its sights on 2013 to deliver the hoped-for rebound."