According to IHS, Lenovo shipped 12.5 million units, up 14.5 percent from 10.9 million in the second quarter. HP retained the lead with 16.3 million units, but increased its shipments only 5.9 percent sequentially. Dell had a weak quarter with just 1.3 percent growth to 11.3 million PCs and dropped to third place. Acer, in fourth, was able to increase sequential sales by 6.8 percent to 9.5 million units, but annual growth is still down by almost 21 percent due to a fast decline of netbook sales. In Q3 of 2010, Acer sold 12.0 million PCs.
"Lenovo continues to capitalize on strong demand for PCs in its home market of China," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms research for IHS. "While PC sales in the United States, Europe and many other regions are suffering because of weak economic conditions and rising competition from media tablets, desktop and notebook sales remain red hot in China. This is allowing Lenovo to outgrow it U.S. rivals—and putting it in position to contend with HP for market leadership."
While HP said that it will keep its PC business as part of the company, the previous announcement that the company would not be making PCs anymore caused the company to lose some distribution deals in China, IHS said.
Global PC shipments increased to 90.4 million units in the third quarter, IHS estimates. Compared to Q3 last year, unit sales climbed by just 2.6 percent from 88.1 million PCs and are well below IHS's previous forecast of 6.8 percent growth. "While third-quarter PC shipments came in lower than our predictions, the attainment of any growth at all represents a victory for the market," Wilkins said. "This increase in sales comes at a time of weak consumer sales and a strong challenge from alternative platforms—specifically the media tablets. In this environment, all growth is progress."