HP Back in PC Lead Again, Some May Say It Never Lost It

Lenovo will just have to try harder this year, since it isn't far behind

Back around the middle of 2012, Lenovo gained the lead of the PC market, though not all analysts were in agreement on that. Said analysts can now feel vindicated, as it looks like HP is still at the top.

HP has been the worldwide top provider of personal computers for years, which was why Lenovo one-upping it was such a momentous occasion.

In the end, though, Lenovo only had a fleeting advantage. The race still ended with Hewlett-Packard at the top of the classification.

This is IDC's view at any rate (International Data Corporation). Its study into PC shipment level for 2012 has been published, preliminary as it is.

The total was 89.8 million during the quarter (October-December), 4.4% lower sequentially, and 352.4 million for 2012 as a whole (3.2 lower on year).

In Q4, HP shipped 15 million systems, while Lenovo managed 14.1 million and Dell got 9.48 million out the door.

For 2012, HP scored 58.2 million, Lenovo got 52.4 million, and Dell shipped 38.71 million.

"Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Q4 2012 ended up being the first time in over 5 years when the PC market declined, year-on-year, during the holiday shopping season.

The failure of Windows 8 to boost sales, and the continued transfer of interest from normal systems to tablets, are the main reasons for this.

Nevertheless, the US struggled more than anyone had expected, and while Japanese customers showed a healthy interest, the increase in shipments was below forecast.

For those who want to know who else made the top five, Acer and ASUS did, in that order, both for Q4 and for the whole of last year. IDC should have a final tally at some point during the next two months.

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