According to figures released by research firm Gartner, PC maker HP was knocked off its perch when Lenovo claimed the top-spot in worldwide PC sales.
However, the computer firm was not about to back down quietly in the face of its Chines rival; instead, HP has gone for Gartner's jugular .. albeit politely not mentioning the research firm by name.
"While there are a variety of PC share reports in the market, some don’t measure the market in its entirety. The IDC analysis includes the very important workstation segment and therefore is more comprehensive. In that IDC report, HP occupies the No. 1 position in PCs," the company said.
HP has held the top spot continuously since the fourth quarter of 2006, and no doubt didn't appreciate being booted down to second place. While Gartner was busy giving Lenovo the top spot, IDC decided to join the fray -- countering with the assertion that HP was still in the lead -- albeit by a narrow margin.
So, who said what? According to IDC, HP shipped roughly 13,946,000 units in Q3, in comparison to Lenovo's 13,824,000 shipments -- a difference of only 122,000. Keep in mind the shipments are in thousands:
In comparison, Gartner asserted that the Chinese firm was King, based on shipment figures of 13,767976 from Lenovo, and 13,550761 by HP, a margin of difference reaching 217,215.
Both research firms noted the drop in market growth -- IDC pegging the drop at 8.6 percent, whereas Gartner released a slightly more modest 8.3 percent. IDC and Gartner said that HP's shipments have fallen 16.4 percent, whereas Lenovo has been given a sales growth percentage of 10.2 and 9.8 respectively.
HP is going through a tumultuous year. The firm announced in May that roughly 8 percent of its workforce are facing the axe by the end of 2014, as newly installed chief executive Meg Whitman leads the firm through a dramatic restructuring process. Lenovo, on the other hand, is the only bright spot based on the research figures -- enjoying growth where others are struggling.
HP's issue with the Gartner figures may be nothing more than a quick scrap in the playground -- where naturally you would side with a search result that suits you better. However, HP's point concerning the workplace segment is well made, even though Gartner's practices of including figures down to singular digits may also be a factor.
The PC industry is facing difficult times. As reported by ZDNet's Rachel King, IDC's senior research analyst Jay Chou has put the market's state of health clearly in perspective:
"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."