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

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.

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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

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6 comments
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  • Frist!

    That's a once humorous comment on my local newspaper's web site.
    Info Dave
    • What I really wanted to say...

      This quarter, last quarter, or next quarter, it's really all the same. HP, and Dell, have been getting out of the PC business for a long time. Since 2004, HP and Dell have fallen to the like of Lenovo, Acer. and yes, Apple.

      It's a new world order, the dawn of a new day. Windows 8 is shaping up to be a redefining moment for Microsoft, a reimagining in Microsoft parlance. We are beginning the Post-PC era.
      Info Dave
  • Gartner Vs. IDC

    Do they really hold any relevancy in the market after so many number of failed analysis and predictions?
    Ram U
    • They dont't

      if you want to belive that the figures are perfect, which they are not. However, the figures do provide a useful insight into what is happening in the industry.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • Well

        I agree to that point, which gives a picture saying HP, Dell and Acer are losing fast and Lenovo and ASUS are gaining the expense of HP, Dell, Acer and Others. That means only two OEMs are putting any effort to bring nice devices at affordable prices.
        Ram U
        • Re: That means only two OEMs are putting any effort to bring nice devices

          It's weird, isn't it? It's almost like the entire industry has come to the conclusion that there isn't money to be made from Microsoft Windows any more.

          How on Earth could they have all come to this conclusion?
          ldo17