Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) and its Chinese rival Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) were the two among the world’s top five PC makers that posted the most robust shipment growth in the fourth quarter last year.
Both saw growth of more than 20 percent, market researchers Gartner Inc and International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.
In Gartner’s tallies, Asustek, the world’s No. 5 vendor, shipped 6.24 million units in the quarter ending last month, marking a growth of 20.5 percent over the same period in 2010, while Lenovo’s shipments expanded 23 percent to 12.93 million units.
IDC statistics pointed out that Asustek’s shipments expanded 26.29 percent to 6.24 million units, while those of Lenovo, the No. 2 player, were 13.01 million units, or an increase of 36.77 percent.
Both researchers said that the No. 3 vendor, Dell Inc, also gained market share in the third quarter, despite posting only single-digit growth of more than 7 percent.
In contrast, top vendor Hewlett-Packard Co and No. 4, Acer Inc (宏碁), both lost market share, with Gartner saying that Acer lost 18.4 percent in shipments to 9.82 million units, while IDC estimated Acer was 8.02 percent down to 9.79 million units.
“Asustek stayed in the No. 5 position despite generally weak consumer sales. Asustek’s shift from mini-notebooks to regular notebooks was successful, as close to 80 percent of Asustek’s mobile-PC shipments were regular notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2011,” Gartner said.
IDC, meanwhile, said Asustek stretched the distance between itself and Toshiba Corp by racking up strong gains across all regions. It seemed to have overcome the difficulties it had in the past quarters by clearing a backlog of mini notebooks.
However, its Taiwanese peer Acer continued to see volumes slide as a result of its past reliance on mini-notebook sales.
Consumer sales through retail channels remain constrained in the face of the pullback in consumer spending, but Acer still managed to make gains in the Asia-Pacific region, IDC added.
Meanwhile, the robust growth in Lenovo’s shipments could be attributed to its continued efforts in developing channel reach in markets outside China, while also making inroads in Europe, the Middle East and Africa through its recent acquisitions and re-organization, both researchers said.
Overall, worldwide PC shipments totaled 92.7 million units in the fourth quarter last year, down 0.2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2010, according to IDC.
“As expected, shortages of hard disk drives [HDD] added to challenges from slow economic conditions and competition from other consumer electronics, including media tablets, e-readers and mobile phones,” IDC said.
IDC expects the market to slow further in the first quarter this year as the full impact of the HDD shortage is felt and then recover in the fourth quarter to post more than 15 percent growth.
Annual shipments this year are currently projected at 371 million units, an increase of 5.4 percent from last year, followed by growth in the high teens during the first half of next year with annual growth for this year expected at over 11 percent, IDC said.