Aggressive Windows 8 push helps HP fight off challenge from Lenovo in PC market, says IDC

Surging sales of tablets, smartphones may have contributed to overall PC shipment decline

An aggressive push for Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows 8 volume helped HP (NYSE: HPQ) fight off a challenge from Lenovo for the top position in the PC market, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Image source: IDC

HP saw growth in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific market despite continued weakness in the Europe, Middle East and Africa market. Overall, HP posted a slight decline in year-over-year PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Lenovo surged in the fourth quarter, posting an 8.2 percent year-over-year growth in PC shipments fueled by strong showing in the U.S. and EMEA markets. The computer maker closed the gap on HP, gaining 2 percent to reach 15.7 percent market share compared with HP's 16.7 percent market share in in the fourth quarter.

By contrast, PC shipments by third place Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and fourth place Acer dropped 20.8 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively, in Q4 2012 compared to Q4 2011. Asus retained the fifth position but experienced a 5.6 percent growth rate.

Overall, worldwide PC shipments dropped 6.4 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 89.8 million units. IDC attributed the decline to competition from tablets and smartphones as well as bad economic conditions, particularly in Europe. This was the first time in five years that PC shipments have declined year-over-year in the holiday season, the research firm noted.

Although Windows 8 was launched in the fourth quarter, it did not have enough of an impact to turn around sluggish PC demand, according to IDC.

"Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience. As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013," commented Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

For more:
- see IDC release

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