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 as PC market leader - 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 73-year-old company.
Worldwide shipments of personal computers fell over 8 percent last quarter, according to both research firms, which blamed myriad factors including retailers and vendors ridding themselves of older inventory ahead of the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, the growing popularity of mobile gadgets like tablets, and a slowing economy.
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.
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