Dell, which has been the world's number two biggest PC maker for some time, is now in the number three position, according to two separate research firms. Both Gartner and IDC are reporting that China-based Lenovo is now the number two largest PC maker, behind HP which is still number one. Lenovo took over IBM's consumer PC business several years ago. IDC says, "Lenovo has now outpaced the market by more than 10 (percent) for the past 9 quarters, and by 20 (percent) or more in six of these periods."
Gartner and IDC said that PC shipments in the third quarter of 2011 grew just slightly worldwide with Gartner giving a 3.2 percent number while IDC saying it grew by 3.6 percent. Both numbers were down compared to the research firms' predictions of 5.1 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. IDC's Jay Chou is quoted as saying, "For the moment, PCs have taken a backseat to a range of other devices competing for shrinking consumer and business budgets. While growth is expected to stay in mid-single digits in the fourth quarter, we should see faster growth in 2012 and beyond based on easier comparisons and refreshed PC offerings as the industry better addresses the evolving usage models by integrating more of the features in ultra mobile devices."
In the US, Dell is still the second biggest PC maker, again behind HP, according to both Gartner and IDC. The third position is taken by Apple who generated 21.5 percent growth in the third quarter thanks in part to solid sales of the MacBook Air notebook.