WORLDWIDE PC SHIPMENTS rose by almost two per cent in the first quarter, IT research and advisory firm Gartner reported.
According to Gartner's preliminary results, global shipments of personal computers totaled 89 million units, a 1.9 per cent increase compared to the same quarter last year.
California computer maker HP managed to increase its share as the global market leader, accounting for 17.2 per cent of shipments in the first quarter. The report established that HP was able to secure HDD inventory, unlike the last quarter of 2011 when it faced a shortage.
"HP's growth also indicates that internal management issues were resolved, and analysts said it appears HP was able to restore some of the business it lost as a result of those issues," Gartner said.
However, HP grew by only 3.5 per cent against the same quarter last year, a far cry from Chinese PC maker Lenovo that demonstrated the strongest growth among the top five vendors with an increase of 28.1 per cent.
Ranked in second place with 13.1 per cent of first quarter market share, Lenovo's computer shipments exhibited "a healthy growth in the professional market" while "successfully expanding into the consumer space", Gartner said. Gartner added that this was thanks to solid increases across Lenovo's desk-based and mobile PC lines.
Dell was positioned third out of the top five PC makers, taking 11 per cent of worldwide PC market share, but showed a market share loss of 1.6 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. The report explained, "Dell underperformed in most regions compared with a year ago. For the first time in two years, Dell experienced a year-over-year shipment decline in the Asia/Pacific market." Gartner analysts said Dell's relatively low shipments were mainly due to low-end consumer systems, "to which Dell gave low priority".
Taiwanese companies Acer and Asus ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Acer exhibited the biggest loss out of the bunch with a market share decline of 9.2 per cent, while Asus ranked last among the five largest PC makers but showed the second largest market share increase at 21.3 per cent.
Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said the results represented a "transitional period" as the PC industry is awaiting two big releases - Intel's Ivy Bridge and Microsoft's Windows 8.
"Although these new releases are not expected to stimulate demand as much as the industry hopes, they will affect PC supply so that there will be artificial supply control before and after the product releases," Kitagawa said. "There will be few products rolled out into the market until these major releases have taken place." µ