Lenovo topples Apple from PC summit by declining less slowly

Desktop, traditional notebooks and tabs all drop in bloodbath Q2

In what could be seen by some as a slightly hollow victory, Lenovo knocked Apple off the top spot in the global PC race by declining more slowly than its rival.

Canalys stats show the total market dropped 11.8 per cent year-on-year in Q2 to a little over 109m desktops, notebooks and tabs. For the record, this equates to 1.46m fewer machines being sold.

For context, the beanie said there are no more Windows with Bing machines – Microsoft effectively murdered that market this year – and obviously no repeat of the XP bonanza that drove desktops.

The winners, of sorts, in the market during Q2 were the four main protagonists – Lenovo, Apple, HP and Dell – because they all reported declines that were below the market average.

Lenovo was down 5.6 per cent to 15.9m machines, giving it a market share of 14.6 per cent, just leapfrogging Apple, whose unit sales declined 11.1 per cent to 15.72m, giving it a 14.4 per cent share of the spoils.

Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys, told us that 70 per cent of Apple’s PC shipments are tabs and tab sales made by the company dropped 17.7 per cent – though it remains the dominant force in that particular sector.

“There isn’t the same demand for iPads and tablets in general. Apple is not doing the big volumes in emerging markets and in the more established markets: it is running out of new customers,” Coulling said.

Some traction is building in the business sectors, but the size of that particular prize is much smaller. The total tab market declined by 21.7 per cent in Q2.

“Tablets aren’t going to go away as an additional device in geographies [where customers want PCs for different types of usage],” he said, adding that a bounce in Q4 can be expected.

As for Lenovo, the base in China provides the company with a strong footing in the global stakes given the size of the local market, “so any expansion outside of there is good for them”.

“Lenovo is doing relatively well in Europe, despite the inventory issues, and they are very aggressive on price,” said Coulling.

He noted HP and Dell – which declined by 9.3 per cent and 10 per cent respectively to 12.7 m and 9.66m units – were both avoiding the cut-throat end of the PC space.

“HP won’t go after business that won’t make them money,” he said. “And Dell is trying to avoid the low-cost segment.”

Samsung was the fifth-placed player, but it declined by 18.2 per cent to 8.59m units. The company last year exited the PC market and suffered from slowing tablet demand, he added.

Desktop shipments were down 15.2 per cent to 22.36m machines, notebooks dropped 14.4 per cent to 41.46m, but two-in-one sales grew by nearly 116 per cent to 2.9m. ®


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