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Lenovo #2 in worldwide PC rankings; gaining ground in Canada

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Some six years after it acquired the personal computer (PC) business of IBM Corp., Chinese PC vendor Lenovo Inc. is celebrating its new position as the world’s No. 2 PC maker, surpassing rival Dell Inc. in the last quarter according to research from both Gartner Inc. and IDC Corp.

While Hewlett-Packard Co. remains the worldwide market leader according to preliminary data from IDC with 16,652 units shipped in the third quarter for 18.1 per cent market share, there was a change in the second spot. Lenovo shipped 12,579 units in the quarter for 13.7 per cent share, passing Dell which shipped 11,007 units to earn 12 per cent share. Lenovo grew its year over year numbers by 36.1 per cent, while Dell was off by 1.6 per cent. Acer and Asus round-out the global top five.

“We’re quite proud to have that No. 2 spot,” said Stefan Bockhop, director of channel sales for Lenovo Canada. “Frankly, we’re ahead of our track. It’s been a good couple of quarters.”

While he jokes he’d like to be able to claim Lenovo’s success is “all him,” Bockhop said it’s a number of factors that have come together for Lenovo, and none of them revolutionary, to lead to 10 straight quarters of above the market growth.

“We’re focused on the channel, we’ve proclaimed and made the decision that’s our route to market, and living up to that commitment to go through partners has been key,” said Bockhop. “We’re bringing out really good products, and enhancing and adding to our product line. We’re No. 2 in desktops and No. 1 in all-in-ones.”

Another contributor, said Bockhop, has been Lenovo’s “Do” marketing campaign, and ensuring company employees really do “walk the walk” of the culture behind that campaign.

In Canada, Lenovo has some ground to cover before it hits No. 2 but its growth is outpacing the market. According to the Q3 Canadian PC shipment numbers from IDC Canada, HP leads the Canadian market with 24.9 per cent share, followed by Acer at 16.8 per cent, Dell at 13.1 per cent and Apple at 12.3 per cent, with Lenovo trailing in fifth at 8.1 per cent.

However, Apple and Lenovo were the only vendors in the top five to gain market share in their year over year numbers. While HP, Acer and Dell all saw declines of over 10 per cent, Apple grew by 13.6 per cent and Lenovo by 28 per cent.

“It’s impressive growth. When you look at Apple’s numbers and the other three in the top five going down, Lenovo is making strong headway in Canada and the worldwide numbers are just fantastic,” said Tim Brunt, senior analyst for personal computing with IDC Canada.

Brunt said Lenovo has recorded several successive quarters of growth in Canada, growing at eight per cent in Q2 and 18 per cent in Q1 of 2011.

“They’re showing some pretty good growth in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment this quarter, and really good growth in the large enterprise,” said Brunt. “The consumer numbers are a little on the weaker side but they’ve had some challenges there.”

Lenovo’s legacy going back to the IBM acquisition is on the commercial side, although it has been releasing a number of consumer-focused offerings in recent years. Bockhop said Lenovo has been growing above the market in Canada and is proud to be a strong contributor to the company’s overall success.

Going forward, Bockhop said Lenovo’s strategy is to protect and attack. Lenovo is No 1. in China in consumer and enterprise; that’s the protect. In North America the strength is in the enterprise; that’s also protect.

“The attack area is definitely the SMB and consumer space. We’re going to continue to add product in those spaces,” said Bockhop. “We’re adding partners to open new routes to market. We were in Best Buy for the first time for back to school and we’re very happy with the relationship, and our U260 ultraportable was well-received.”

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.