Lenovo continues to flex its global muscles in PC sales, finding a mix of products, sales, and distribution that is increasing its shipments and global market share despite the fact continued shrinkage in the PC market as more and more people shift to tablets as well as smartphones for digital communications.

Plus, Lenovo is growing in the face of headwinds created by an 11 percent drop in PC sales across Asia-Pacific markets.

Overall PC sales declined 7.6 percent or 8.6 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago, depending on which sales report one wishes to read. PC sales fell for the sixth consecutive quarter.

However, the new reports from research firms IDC and Gartner – which does not include tablets, by the way – include plenty of good news for Lenovo:

  • The company, which operates its global executive headquarters in Morrisville, is still the world leader in PC market share.
  • It is No. 1 in sales, and its sales increased
  • Lenovo also is surging in the U.S. marketplace in sales and share
  • And in Europe, Lenovo has surged to the No. 2 spot with some spectacular growth

The data confirms the insistence of Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing that despite the continuing tsunami that is shaking the PC business and as the company devotes more resources to mobile Internet devices as part of a “PC Plus” strategy employees can’t overlook its “bread and butter:”

Selling computers.

Probably the best single indicator of Lenovo’s growing global strength is the  fact that Lenovo is growing sales despite a tough selling climate in its home market of China where it dominates the market.

Says Gartner: “Weakness in the Chinese market continued to affect Lenovo’s overall growth. However, strong growth in the Americas, as well as EMEA, offset the declining PC shipments for Lenovo in the Asia/Pacific market.”

Lenovo Closes on Apple in U.S.

IDC says Lenovo increased U.S. sales by 25.8 percent while overall U.S. shipments dropped by 0.2 percent. Lenovo is No. 4 in the U.S. behind HP, Dell and Apple. But Lenovo’s market share is up to 10.5 percent from 8.3 percent. Apple’s sales fell 11 percent, dropping its share to 11.6 percent from 13 percent. Gartner data is very similar.

Lenovo’s overall shipments increased to 14.136 million from 13.8 million, according to IDC.

Gartner says Lenovo’s total grew to 14.154 million from 13.774 million.

However, the Gartner and IDC data show that HP has righted its PC business under CEO Meg Whitman and grew its sales. So the battle remains tight for No. 1. On Wednesday, HP forecast a rebound of the company overall in 2014, so Lenovo will remain under pressure for the top spot.

Notes IDC:

“Driven by big gains in the U.S., Lenovo remains the world’s top PC manufacturer. Even as global PC sales declined again in the third quarter, Lenovo churned ahead with an overall increase in sales. The world’s No. 1 PC maker also increased its global market share. But HP also increases sales, keeping race for No. 1 tight.”

Adds Gartner:

“Lenovo maintained the top PC vendor title, and continued to expand its channel reach as well as experiment with new form factors. Troubles in Asia/Pacific continued to pose a significant problem, where much of the lower-tier channels struggled with inventory clearance, constraining overall growth. However, the vendor posted a strong gain in the U.S. market, growing more than 2% compared to a year ago.”

EMEA Strength

Lenovo’s strength – built upon an aggressive acquisition and distribution strategy with new products – is shown in the Europe-Middle East-Africa market where, as IDC notes, sales have really “contracted.”

Gartner’s appraisal of EMEA notes Lenovo’s surge:

“In the third quarter of 2013, HP retained the top position in the PC market in EMEA. Lenovo had a fifth consecutive quarter of growth, which helped it move to the No. 2 spot, and achieved the best performance of the top five PC vendors in the third quarter of 2013. Lenovo’s double-digit growth was mainly due to strong sales of mobile PCs, where it introduced several new products during the third quarter of 2013.”