Lenovo beats HP to become world’s top PC manufacturer

Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo has replaced American firm Hewlett-Packard as the world's top producer of PCs, according to research figures released by Gartner.

The data published by Gartner shows that Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter of this year, compared with HP's 13.5 million. Lenovo now holds the biggest share of the PC market with a 15.7 per cent stake, though this is only a minute margin of 0.02 per cent over HP, which still holds 15.5 per cent of the market.

Lenovo's rise highlights the advance of China's technology firms on the world stage in recent years, due to a combination of aggressive pricing, overseas acquisitions and taking advantage of a fast-growing home market.

Meanwhile, HP has struggled in the face of global competition after reversing a decision to sell or spin off its PC division.

Meanwhile, research published by IDC keeps HP at the top, but with a similarly minuscule margin.

Both sets of data show that worldwide shipments of PCs fell over 8 per cent last quarter as more consumers prefer ultra-portable and increasingly powerful tablets and smartphones for basic computing.

Vendors are also ridding themselves of older inventory in preparation for the launch of the Windows 8 operating system.

"PCs are going through a severe slump," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker.

Chou says the PC market needs to find an 'it' product to experience the impressive growth undergone in the smartphone industry with products like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple's iPhone range.

David Daoud, a research director at IDC, reiterated the point, saying PC sales will depend on the success of thinner and lighter PCs with tablet-like features such as touchscreens and longer battery life.

"Revival of the PC market will have to be linked to the way people look at the next generation of PCs", he said.