HP Leads Global PC Market, Apple Third Largest Vendor in U.S.: Report

By Erin Harrison July 14, 2011

While Hewlett-Packard continues to dominate the worldwide PC market, Apple outpaced both Acer and Toshiba to become the third largest PC vendor in the U.S., according to Gartner’s latest findings.

HP accounted for 17.4 percent of worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2011, Gartner said. Although HP achieved solid growth in the business PC market, it continued to stall out in the consumer segment.

According to preliminary results by Gartner, worldwide PC shipments surpassed 85.2 million units in the second quarter of 2011, a 2.3 percent increase from the same period last year. The results are below Gartner’s earlier projection for 6.7 percent growth. Dell, which did well in Asia/Pacific market, took second place in the worldwide PC market for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Based on the latest findings, it is evident the PC market is going through a period of adjustment, according to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“After strong growth in shipments of consumer PCs for four years, driven by strong demand for mini-notebooks and low-priced consumer notebooks, the market is shifting to modest, but steady growth,” Kitagawa said. “The slow overall growth indicates that the PC market is still in a period of adjustment, which began in the second half of 2010.”

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 16.9 million units in the second quarter of 2011, a 5.6 percent decline from the second quarter of 2010. Gartner identified “the major inhibitor” as a weak consumer PC market.

However, Lenovo achieved strong growth in Asia/Pacific, the U.S. and Latin America with both desktop and mobile PCs, with shipments increasing by 22.5 percent.

Acer dropped from No. 2 to the No. 4 slot in the worldwide PC market in the second quarter of 2011. Gartner analysts said Acer’s “problems stemmed from its low-price, high-volume business model, which is no longer effective.”

Changes in vendor’s product offerings greatly impacted PC sales in the second quarter, Gartner said.

“Vendor’s performances have become variable as they have had to deal with significant inventory buildup, changes to their product mix, and the fact that growth has been coming mostly from emerging markets,” explained Kitagawa. “Vendors are having to shift resources away from mature consumer markets. They are also invested in developing media tablets, many of which launched in the first half of 2011.”

According to figures released by International Data Corporation in June, the researched predicted PC sales to grow at a slower rate for the remainder of 2011.

Small laptops – a.k.a “netbooks” – have driven growth in PC sales in the last few years, but the draw of low prices for mini notebooks has given way to a number of factors, including “relative saturation following this boom cycle, recognition of their limitations, and better competition from both mainstream notebooks and media tablets, which increased 31 million and 17.9 million units in 2010 respectively vs. just 1.3 million for mini notebooks,” TechZone reported last month.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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