Figures released for the last quarter by IDC and Gartner show that, despite rumblings at HP that included rumours about dropping their entire PC division, the truly unprecedented Touchpad fire sale and the unceremonious dumping of their CEO, the PC maker still maintains the top spot and has indeed grown their lead in the last quarter by more than 5%.
Runner up manufacturer, Dell, has dropped a place down to the third place spot with Lenovo, who are relatively new to the desktop market in the grand scheme of things, taking second place with an enormous growth of 36% on the previous quarter.
HP now sits at 18.1% of total worldwide PC sales (up from 17.8%) with Lenovo on 13.7% (up from 10.4%) and Dell dropping to 12% (down slightly from 12.6%). In fourth place is Acer with ASUS following up the table in fifth position.
There can be little doubt that in the last year Lenovo have produced some simply fantastic design, challenging Sony for the overall design and quality award. Indeed I have recently been using a budget Lenovo B570 and one of their business Z Series laptops and it was very difficult to tell one from the other. The only real difference on the surface was that one cost three times the price of the other. Suffice to say I have now been firmly recommending Lenovo machines to friends (although my own new laptop is a Dell).
The biggest surprise though might be Acer who saw a drop in market share of over 20% on their previous quarters figure, a loss of 3% market share overall. The company has perhaps been producing middling hardware in the last year and may now be suffering for it. This is not helped by the fact that there are only a finite number of quality technology plants worldwide and companies including Apple have slowly been swallowing them up for their own mass consumption.
The future for the PC market is looking good though. In the report, they say...
In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 17.8 million units in the third quarter of 2011, a 1.1 percent increase from the third quarter of 2010. The U.S. PC market experienced year-over-year growth for the first time in three quarters. While the consumer market continued to be weak with disappointing back-to-school sales in the third quarter, the inventory was kept mostly in check as industry expectations were relatively low.
...but the report also highlights a 2.9% decline in Europe, perhaps because the European economy has been under incredible pressure in recent months. The news in Asia is better though with a 6% increase. Overall the picture is good news...
Worldwide PC shipments increased by 3.6% in the third quarter of 2011 (3Q11) compared to the same quarter in 2010
...which is a healthy growth and no doubt helped by the blossoming market for Tablets and smartphones.
Final figures aren't yet available and there's no word on where companies such as Apple and Samsung sit in the rankings. Both companies have been doing extremely well, though not so much in PC sales, but who both seem constantly locked in legal battles with the other, which could impact their bottom line when the next earnings figures are released for each company.
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