SAN FRANCISCO— After contracting on a sequential and annual basis during the first three months of the year, the global PC market returned to growth in the second quarter, with total shipments of 85.6 million units, up 3.7 percent from the first quarter and up 6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Lenovo Group Ltd. rose one spot to become the world's third-largest PC brand in the second quarter, according to IHS. Lenovo (Beijing) posted the strongest percentage growth among the world’s top five PC makers in the second quarter, on both a sequential and annual basis, IHS said. Lenovo’s 10.2 million PC shipments in the second quarter were up 25.6 percent compared to the first quarter and up 23 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010, IHS said. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Acer inc. in the second quarter suffered the only sales decline among the top five PC vendors, IHS said. Acer shipped 8.9 million PCs in the second quarter, down 4 percent compared to the first quarter and down 20 percent from the second quarter of 2010, IHS said. Acer slipped from No. 3 in the world in PC shipments in the first quarter to No. 4, surpassed by Lenovo, IHS said.
“Beyond the continuing strength in its home market of China—where the both the economy and PC demand continued to expand vigorously—Lenovo’s performance in the second quarter was boosted by rising sales in other regions,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at HIS,. In a statement. “These regions included the broader Asia-Pacific area, as well as the United States, with Lenovo performing well in those places because of demand from the enterprise segment. Meanwhile, Acer suffered from inventory problems, particularly in Western Europe, which lowered its shipments and resulted in lost market share.”
Acer began a process in the second quarter to improve its channel inventory management, IHS said. But because of weaker PC consumer demand, channel inventories did not deplete as quickly as hoped, resulting in reduced need for restocking by the company, according to the firm.
Lenovo’s rise to third place ties its highest ranking ever, with the company previously having ascended to that position for a few quarters in 2005, 2006 and 2007, IHS said. Meanwhile, Acer’s drop to fourth place represents a stunning reversal of fortune for a company that was the No. 2 PC brand in the world during a three-quarter period in 2009 and 2010, IHS said.
Besides Lenovo, only two other PC brands achieved double-digit year-over-year growth in the second quarter: No. 7 Apple Inc. and No. 8 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., IHS said.
Apple’s PC shipments amounted to 3.8 million, up 13.6 percent from 3.3 million in the second quarter of 2010, IHS said. Apple recorded the third highest year-over growth in desktop shipments among the top 10 PC original equipment manufacturers, with only Lenovo and another Chinese company, Haier, experiencing larger expansions, IHS said. Apple also posted the third largest growth in notebook shipments, bested only by Lenovo and Samsung, IHS said.
"Apple’s growth is attributable to its products being highly desirable and continuing to appeal to consumers, despite the weaker consumer demand environment," Wilkins said. "The company’s performance was so strong that Apple now is less than 1 percentage point away from having sufficient market share to enter the top five rankings."
Meanwhile, Samsung posted the highest growth of any top 10 PC brand in the second quarter, with its shipments rising by 31.3 percent to 3.1 million units, IHS said.
Taiwanese PC brand Asustek Computer Inc. shipped 4.6 million PCs in the second quarter, up 5.3 percent from the first quarter and an 8.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2010, IHS said. This growth allowed Asus to overtake Japan’s Toshiba Corp. and become the No. 5 brand, IHS said.