Lenovo, the Chinese company that vaulted onto the world stage when it acquired IBM’s PC business eight years ago, has achieved its longtime goal of becoming the undisputed leader in the global computer market.
Research firms IDC and Gartner issued reports on worldwide PC shipments Wednesday that each ranked Lenovo No. 1 in the second quarter. Although based in China, Lenovo has an executive headquarters in Morrisville where it employs more than 2,000 workers. More than half the company’s revenue comes from outside China.
Just four years ago Lenovo was ranked No. 7 in the PC market. But solid products, aggressive pricing and expanded distribution in the U.S. market have enabled it to outpace the market and its top competitors for 16 consecutive quarters.
“Even in the toughest PC market ever, Lenovo has not only gained share, but we have steadily improved profitability and introduced even more innovative products for every market segment,” CEO Yang Yuanqing said in a statement. “The battle for PC leadership could certainly still go back and forth. But I am fully confident that there remains substantial room for profitable growth and groundbreaking innovation in the PC marketplace.”
Lenovo’s long-awaited victory had a bittersweet quality given that its shipments dipped in the second quarter versus a year ago because of a down market.
Gartner reported that Lenovo’s shipments fell six-tenths of a percent, while IDC put the decline at 1.4 percent. That was much better, however, than the overall market – which dropped 10.9 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.
Gartner said the fifth consecutive quarter of falling shipments marks the longest decline in the history of the PC market. In the face of the slumping market, Lenovo has been branching out into other products, such as smartphones and “smart TVs,” but it isn’t selling those products yet in the U.S. market.
“PC leadership is just one milestone in a longer journey to become a true leader in the ‘PC Plus’ market, which includes tablets, smart phones, smart TVs and other ‘smart connected’ devices,” Yang said. Lenovo is the No. 2 smartphone company in China and the No. 3 maker of “smart” devices worldwide.
Gartner also ranked Lenovo No. 1 in worldwide PC sales in the third and fourth quarters of last year, but IDC had HP in the top spot in both those quarters. In the first quarter of this year, both research firms ranked Lenovo second.
Gartner reported that Lenovo’s share of the worldwide PC market in the second quarter was 14.9 percent. IDC put its market share at 15 percent.
In the U.S. market, both firms ranked Lenovo No. 4 in the second quarter – behind HP, Dell and Apple.
Still, Lenovo posted strong gains in the U.S. market. Gartner reported that Lenovo’s PC shipments rose 19.7 percent, despite a 1.4 percent decline in the overall U.S. market.