Lenovo is a whisker away from becoming the world's leading PC vendor after some aggressive pricing in the B2B market allowed the Chinese firm to make big gains on HP in Q2.
Gartner figures reveal that worldwide PC shipments for 2012's second quarter declined 0.1 per cent to 87.5 million. The analyst notes that the market's continued softness can be attributed to lack of consumer interest and ongoing economic malaise in various regions. Ultrabooks have also thus far failed to have the desired impact on the market, with shipment volumes remaining modest.
HP retained top spot in the global vendor leaderboard in Q2, despite its number of units shipped declining 12.1 per cent year on year to 13 million. The US giant's market share has also fallen two points in the past 12 months, and now stands at 14.9 per cent.
Lenovo, which boosted Q2 shipments 14.9 per cent to 12.8 million, has gained two market-share points in the past year, and is now just a fifth of a point off the number-one position.
After a torrid 2011, third-placed Acer had some cause for cheer in Q2, having grown shipments 3.6 per cent to 9.6 million. The Taiwanese firm holds 11 per cent of the market, and has overtaken Dell, whose shipments slipped 11.5 per cent annually to 9.3 million.
Asus, in fifth, was arguably the quarter's biggest winner, with unit volumes soaring 38.6 per cent to 6.1 million and market share up two points on the corresponding period last year to seven per cent.
Lenovo's stellar rise through the rankings is partly chalked up to some disruptive pricing in the enterprise market. The EMEA region proved a strong growth engine for the Chinese manufacturer in Q2, according to Gartner, but the analyst warns that "there is growing concern of the inventory build toward the second half of 2012".
Acer, meanwhile, has reportedly alleviated the inventory headaches of last year and is well placed for growth. The vendor is expected to blaze a trail in the nascent ultrabook market by lowering its prices quicker than other vendors.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said: "A big portion of R&D spending has been allocated to ultrabook development, together with Intel's massive investments to establish the market segment.
"Though Ultrabook was at first introduced in the market in 2011, the major promotion kicked off toward the end of Q212 with the Ivy Bridge-based ultrabook release. This segment is still in an early adopter's stage."
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