IDC counters Gartner's PC estimates, pegging HP ahead of Lenovo

Summary:IDC picks up the baton from Gartner and IHS iSuppli with a pessimistic outlook for the global PC market -- with a notable difference.

Following up today's reports from market research firms IHS iSuppli and Gartner, IDC chimed in with its latest figures on the state of the PC market.

While IDC also offers a rather dire perspective on worldwide PC shipments for the third quarter of 2012, there is a sharp contrast with IDC.

While Gartner asserted that Lenovo actually jumped ahead of Hewlett-Packard last quarter as the leading PC vendor worldwide, IDC countered by reporting that HP still has the lead -- albeit a very narrow one.

Looking at the table below, IDC said that HP shipped approximately 13,946,000 units in Q3 compared to Lenovo's 13,824,000 shipments.

zdnet-idc-q3-2012-pcs

Obviously, there is something different in the way that Gartner and IDC are calculating these results. It might be worth noting that while IDC is only revealing unit shipments (in thousands) in rounded-off figures, Gartner displayed shipment estimates down to the last digit.

In Gartner's report published on Tuesday afternoon, Lenovo came out ahead with 13,767,976 units shipped worldwide versus HP's 13,550,761.

However, IDC analysts did shine a more positive light on Lenovo, praising its "methodical approach" towards worldwide expansion despite slower growth in Asia.

With HP, IDC slammed the Palo Alto, Calif.-based corporation for its problems surrounding the "reorganization, challenges in integrating its enterprise acquisitions, and an unclear strategy to regain its course remain key obstacles."

Grim perspectives on PC market outlook?

Earlier on Tuesday, IHS analysts predicted that for the calendar year 2012, PC shipments are expected to decline for the first time in 11 years.

Nevertheless, that prompted ZDNet's Andrew Nusca to argue perhaps IHS and other industry analysts could be looking at the PC market from the wrong perspective, positing that "personal computing devices are proliferating at a rate never before seen in history."

In Gartner's case, the information technology research and advisory company maintained a more positive spin on things. Gartner reported that the global PC industry experienced a decline of 8.3 percent when compared with the third quarter of 2011.

Gartner researchers described Q3 2012 as a "transitional one" leading up to the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. Thus, shipments were down because vendors and their channel partners are just trying to liquidate inventory.

IDC followed suit with this trend for the most part, concurring that most channels were clearing out Windows 7 inventory ahead of the Windows 8 launch later this month.

Jay Chou, a senior research analyst for the Worldwide PC Tracker team at IDC, remarked in the report that the PC industry is going through a "severe slump," and it's not clear when -- if ever -- it will recover.

A weak global economy as well as questions about PC market saturation and delayed replacement cycles are certainly a factor, but the hard question of what is the 'it' product for PCs remain unanswered. While ultrabook prices have come down a little, there are still some significant challenges that will greet Windows 8 in the coming quarter.

Chart via IDC

Topics: PCs, Hardware, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.