Amid a global slump in personal computer sales, Hewlett-Packard has relinquished its position as the world's biggest PC seller for the first time in five years, one research firm reported Wednesday, while another had the Palo Alto technology giant clinging to the top spot.
The bad news for HP was compounded by an additional report Wednesday that PC shipments from computer makers for the year would likely shrink about 1 percent, with the last such drop recorded during the dot-com bust of 2001.
"HP has given up the PC vendor position for the first time since the third quarter of 2006," according to the market monitoring firm Gartner. It said the top position for the quarter was held by Lenovo of China, which previously had been in second place.
Lenovo edged out HP with 15.7 percent of the 87.5 million PC shipments for the quarter, a nearly 10 percent increase for the Beijing-based company over the same period a year ago. HP's 15.5 percent share represented a drop of 16.4 percent from the third quarter last year, Gartner said.
Another research firm -- International Data Corp.,oration -- reported that HP still held a narrow lead in the top position, with 15.9 percent of the market, while Lenovo held 15.7 percent. However, its data also showed HP fast losing ground to Lenovo.
Asked to respond, HP spokesman Michael Thacker noted that, "while there are a variety of PC share reports in the market, some don't measure the market in its entirety. The IDC analysis includes the very important workstation segment and, therefore, is more comprehensive." Nonetheless, both reports contained troublesome news for HP, as well as for Santa Clara-based Intel, which gets most of its revenue by providing microchips to PCs and which counts on HP as its biggest customer.
Gartner said worldwide PC shipments from computer makers declined 8 percent in the third quarter, while International Data Corporation estimated the drop at 8.6 percent.