According to Gartner, a research firm, Hewlett-Packard has lost its long-held position as the world's number one PC manufacturer in the third quarter of 2012. China's Lenovo (News - Alert) Group managed to raise sales and edge out HP amidst an overall drop in PC sales.
However, rival research firm IDC stills ranks HP in the top spot in terms of worldwide PC shipments — by less than half a percentage point. Indeed, the firm puts HP in the number one spot with 15.9 percent market share, ahead of Lenovo at 15.7 percent.
Overall, according to Gartner (News - Alert), worldwide PC shipments fell over eight percent in Q3 to 87.5 million in what is apparently the steepest decline since 2001. The reason for this, according to analysts, is the rise in popularity of tablets and smartphones, which provide greater portability for an increasing number of basic computing tasks.
"It's quite a tough year for PC makers because (Microsoft's (News - Alert)) Windows 8 is not launched yet and some consumers are waiting for that. Cannibalization of tablet PCs is also another factor," said Eve Jung, an analyst with Nomura Securities in Taipei.
Despite this overall downturn in PC sales, both Gartner and IDC agree that Asian PC makers like Lenovo and Acer (News - Alert) are steadily taking share away from America competitors HP and Dell, the latter of which managed to take the number three spot in Q3. It seems as though these U.S. companies have their work cut out for them, too, as Lenovo, which has a market value of $8.2 billion, has stated that it believes there is room for continued growth in the sector.
While Lenovo may not be worried, PC manufacturers and component manufacturers like Intel (News - Alert) have been working hard to put PCs back on the road to success. Specifically, Intel launched its Ultrabook campaign this year, supplying manufacturers with its more efficient chips in order to produce thinner, lighter laptops.