In an industry that is facing the perfect storm, only Apple, Asus and Lenovo are keeping their heads above the water.
There are not many positive signs for the PC industry in Gartner's latest sales charts. Most PC makers are barely hanging onto past sales successes, and numbers clearly reflect an environment of saturation in mature markets and a lack of innovation that would lure consumers into buying new PCs.
Globally, PC sales declined by 0.1 percent year-over-year in Q2 to 87.5 million units. HP kept the lead, but suffered a 12.1 percent drop in unit sales to 13.0 million PCs. Lenovo added 14.9 percent and ended up at 12.8 million systems. Lenovo is now close to overtaking HP as the world's leading PC maker with a market share of 14.7 versus 14.9 percent.
Acer, in number 3, added 3.6 percent to 9.6 million PCs. Dell lost 11.5 percent to 9.3 million. Asus jumped by 38.6 percent to 6.1 million.
In the U.S., the leading two manufacturers, HP and Dell, dropped by 12.5 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively. Apple was the only major computer maker to post unit sales growth (4.3 percent). The company solidified its positions as the third largest PC maker in the U.S. with 12.0 percent market share, but still trails Dell, with 21.7 percent, and HP, with 25.0 percent, significantly.
There is little hope that the market environment is changing in the current quarter. The rough economic environment is combined with a market in which consumers may be delaying their purchases until the release of Windows 8. Many consumers may be favoring a tablet or smartphone purchase or waiting until ultrabooks become much more affordable.