China’s Lenovo held onto its crown as the world’s top vendor of personal computers in 2013, according to the latest data from market researcher Gartner. But it’s a dubious achievement because 2013 is now officially in the books as the worst in the PC market’s history, as industry-wide sales declined by more than 35 million units year over year.
The data showed another seven percent decline in sales in the fourth quarter from the same period a year ago. And for the year it showed — you guessed it — another decline of 10 percent.
Here’s Gartner’s table for the full year.
As you can see, Lenovo bested last year’s leader Hewlett-Packard by about 2 million units, though on a percentage basis they were only a few decimal points apart.
Lenovo also led the world in the fourth quarter, with global market share of about 18 percent of the market versus HP’s 16 percent. Dell was third with 12 percent.
HP dominated in the U.S. market with a share of 26.5 percent, ahead of Dell with 23 percent and Apple with a little less than 14 percent. Overall PC sales declined 7.5 percent in the U.S. in Q4 to 15.8 million units.
So has the market bottomed out yet? After so many quarters of continued declines, it eventually has to, right? Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa thinks so, at least in some markets, including stateside. Tablet sales are still pummeling the PC, which has been the case for a few years now, especially in mature markets. In emerging markets, a person’s first connected device is still likely to be a phone, and their first computing device is probably a tablet, meaning some people skip the conventional PC entirely.
The findings were similar from research firm IDC, which also released its 2013 results today. It, too, showed a 10 percent decline in worldwide PC shipments. But in the U.S., its figures differ from Gartner’s, showing a smaller 1.6 percent decline in overall sales in the fourth quarter.