ThinkPad maker Lenovo's logo is seen at an electronics shop

Lenovo overtakes HP as top PC maker

Lenovo has overtaken Hewlett-Packard to become the world's number one PC maker, according to research firm Gartner.

IDC, another research company, 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 73-year-old company.

Worldwide shipments of personal computers fell over 8 per cent 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 US competitors HP and Dell, which held on to the number three spot in the quarter.

Lenovo, which has a market value of $8.2bn, 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 and US cloud computing firm Stoneware.

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 per cent, shipping an estimated 13.77 million units during the quarter, up nearly 10 per cent from a year ago, Gartner said.

HP's global PC share stood at 15.5 per cent after shipping 13.55 million units, down 16.4 per cent 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 number one spot with a 15.9 per cent market share, marginally ahead of Lenovo's 15.7 per cent share.

HP responded to Gartner's study by saying IDC's was more expansive.

"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.

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