LENOVO, HP and DELL were the top PC vendors last year but, despite positive growth for the firms, the market declined as a whole in 2014.
Gartner and IDC reported their Q4 and yearly preliminary PC shipment results for 2014, showing that Lenovo came top for global shipments with almost 60 million units sold and an 18.8 percent slice of the market.
HP and Dell were close contenders. HP shipped 56 million units, accounting for 18 percent of the market, while Dell shipped 41 million units to take 13 percent.
However, Gartner reported a 0.2 percent overall decline in PC sales last year, and IDC reported a 2.1 percent drop. However, unlike IDC, Gartner also includes 2-in-1 devices in its figures.
Both analyst houses were unanimous in their rankings of the top four PC firms' successes in 2014, but Gartner ranked Asus in fifth place with a 7.2 market share, whereas IDC reported Apple in fifth place with a 6.4 percent share.
Gartner reported a rise in sales towards the end of 2014 and growth across the PC industry from Q3 to Q4 of one percent.
IDC did not agree, however, claiming that the market declined by 2.4 percent from Q3 to Q4.
"Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted year on year and in comparison to the third quarter," said IDC.
"Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volumes inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year - the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining."
However, Gartner seems to think that the PC market is "quietly stabilising" after the installed base reduction driven by "users diversifying their device portfolios".
"Installed base PC displacement by tablets peaked in 2013 and the first half of 2014. Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs," said Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.
The situation is not as bad as it was this time last year. Analysts reported in January 2014 that the global PC market took a turn for the worse in 2013, after shipments fell 10 percent over the 12 months.
Gartner revealed in its Q4 2013 preliminary worldwide PC report that a total of 316 million PCs were shipped in 2013, down 10 percent from the same quarter the previous year. µ
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