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Lenovo bags top spot

San Francisco/Hong Kong, Oct. 11 (Reuters): China’s Lenovo Group Ltd edged out Silicon Valley icon Hewlett-Packard Co to become the world’s No. 1 PC maker in the third quarter, according to data released by research house Gartner on Wednesday.

A rival to Gartner, IDC, still ranks HP in the lead — but by less than half a percentage point — in terms of PC shipments worldwide. Both studies reinforce HP’s struggles against rivals as new chief executive Meg Whitman tries to overhaul the stalled 73-year-old company.

Worldwide shipments of personal computers fell over 8 per cent in the third quarter to 87.5 million, the steepest decline since 2001, Gartner analysts said.

PC demand growth has crumbled over the past year as more consumers flock to ultra-portable and increasingly powerful tablets and smartphones for basic computing.

“It’s quite a tough year for PC makers because (Microsoft’s) Windows 8 is not launched yet and some consumers are waiting for that. Cannibalisation of tablet PCs is also another factor,” said Eve Jung, an analyst with Nomura Securities in Taipei.

Both sets of data show that Lenovo, Taiwan’s Acer and other Asian PC makers are taking share away from US competitors HP and Dell, which held on to the No. 3 spot in the quarter.

Lenovo, which has a market value of $8.2 billion, said it believed there was room for continued growth in the sector.

“We are establishing even deeper roots in each major market around the world. In addition to localised sales and distribution teams in major markets, we are establishing an even stronger manufacturing footprint,” Lenovo chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang said in a statement.

 
 
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