Lenovo ousts HP as world's top PC maker, says Gartner

image captionLenovo has been increasing its market share in key markets in Asia as well as the US

Chinese PC maker Lenovo has replaced Hewlett-Packard as the world's top PC maker, according to preliminary figures released by research firm Gartner.

Gartner said Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter, compared with HP's 13.55 million.

It said Lenovo's "aggressive" price cuts had helped it gain substantial market share.

However, research firm IDC's data put HP at the top, though it showed the gap between the two was closing.

According to IDC, HP shipped 13.9 million units, giving it a 15.9% share of the global market, compared with Lenovo which enjoyed a 15.7% share with 13.8 million units.

Analysts said that Lenovo has been among the best performing PC makers in recent times and was likely to gain further market share.

"Just the momentum that Lenovo has had, makes it inevitable that it will be the world's number one PC maker across all charts," Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan told the BBC.

According to Gartner, Lenovo was the only PC maker, among the world's top five, that increased its shipments to the US during the third quarter.

'Severe slump'

Both Gartner and IDC's figures showed that global PC shipments fell more than 8% during the quarter, from the same period last year.

Demand for personal computers has been hurt by a slowing global economy as well as the growing popularity of tablet PCs such as Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy range.

Analysts said that consumers held back on purchases during the period in anticipation of the launch of new products as well as operating systems, including Microsoft Windows 8.

"PCs are going through a severe slump," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker.

"The industry had already weathered a rough second quarter, and now the third quarter was even worse."

He added that the industry was also struggling to find a product that may help it turn around its fortunes.

"The hard question of what is the 'it' product for PCs remains unanswered. While ultrabook prices have come down a little, there are still some significant challenges that will greet Windows 8 in the coming quarter."

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