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Lenovo edges past Hewlett-Packard as global PC sales slip

China’s Lenovo has become the world’s biggest PC maker outselling US firm Hewlett-Packard. The change comes as consumers migrate to mobile devices, causing the longest decline in the industry’s history.

In the second quarter of 2013, worldwide shipments of personal computers (PCs) fell 11 percent, extending the longest decline in the industry's history, according to figures released by research firms Gartner and IDC on Thursday.

Between April and June 2013, global PC sales dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter to 76 million units, compared with 85 million computers sold in the same quarter a year ago, the latest data showed.

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PC markets in dire straits

While less expensive tablets were increasingly displacing low-end computers in the industrialized world, such mobile devices bacame the first computing devices for many people in emerging economies, Mikako Kitagawa, analyst at Gartner, told a news conference.

The change also accounted for the collapse of the mini notebook market, he added.

Change of market leadership

The market surveys by both Gartner and IDC showed China's computer-maker Lenovo had become the world's largest PC vendor.

Lenovo had a global market share of 16.7 percent with shipments of 12.67 million units in the second quarter, just ahead of US company Hewlett-Packard with 12.4 million units and a market share of 16.3 percent.

US computer-maker Dell was in third place with sales of 8.9 million units, ahead of firms Acer and Asus. Apple was not among the top five global vendors, but was third in the United States.

Crumbling PC industry

Industry data showed that all of the world's big five PC makers had suffered declining sales between April and June. Acer and Asus shipments dropped most significantly at rates of 35 and 20 percent respectively. Lenovo's losses were the lowest in the industry at minus 0.6 percent.

The sales slump was most significant in Europe, the Middle East and Africa where combined second-quarter sales plummeted 16.8 percent year-on-year. In Asia the drop was 11.5 percent, while the US market held up better, declining by just 1.4 percent.

IDC analyst Jay Chou told the news conference that the group was expecting some improvement in growth in the second half of the year as PC makers made efforts to bring down prices and embrace touch-computing features.

However, the industry still needed to do more in launching attractive products and addressing the competition from the manufacturers of smartphones and tablets, he added.

uhe/pfd (AFP, AP, dpa)

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