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Lenovo avoids the PC decline once again as HP and others slump

Lenovo avoids the PC decline once again as HP and others slump

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Lenovo's PC business has seen positive growth yet again, with quarterly shipments of its computers up 0.4 percent year-over-year. The growth comes despite what Lenovo cites as an 14.2 percent decrease of the industry as a whole over the same period. The Chinese manufacturer also reported 10 percent year-over-year PC growth over the past 12 months against an 8 percent industry-wide decrease. Lenovo's solid PC performance, along with very positive results in its other businesses like smartphones and tablets, contributed towards a 4 percent increase in revenue and a 90 percent increase in net profits (up from $67 million to $127 million) year-over-year.

In separate results, HP beat analyst expectations with its Q2 2013 earnings report, but its PC figures are still moving in the wrong direction. The company shipped 24 percent less notebooks than the same period last year, and 18 percent less desktops. HP's workstations fared a little better: the segment generated just three percent less revenue than in 2012. Unfortunately for HP, workstations make up a very small percentage of its "personal systems" business, with revenue counted in millions rather than billions. Total revenue fell 20 percent year-over-year, with its consumer division falling particularly sharply, down a massive 29 percent.

The PC industry needs more than Lenovo to bounce back

Even with the largely negative results, HP still has the edge over Lenovo in terms of global PC marketshare. According to the latest figures from IDC — which Lenovo cites in its earnings report — HP took 15.7 percent of the PC market last quarter, Lenovo is in second place with 15.3 percent, and Dell sits in third with 11.8 percent. Compare that to this time last year, when HP had 17.8 percent marketshare and Lenovo just 13.2 percent, and it's clear which direction the balance of power is swinging. Lenovo says it shipped a record number of PCs over the past year (over 52 million in total), which when combined with the industry's sharp decline has boosted its marketshare at a staggering pace. The fact remains that people are still buying fewer PCs than than they used to, and Lenovo's gains aren't necessarily good news for anyone other than Lenovo. The manufacturer can't hold up the industry by itself, and companies like Dell and HP will be hoping new product lines will reinvigorate their own sales.