In words that probably chill anyone involved in the PC business, here’s what research firm Gartner’s principal analyst says about the future of computing: “Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again.”


Mikako Kitagawa made that prediction late Tuesday as Gartner along with research rival IDC disclosed their latest quarterly global PC sales report.

Sales have fallen eight consecutive quarters in what Gartner describes as “the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry.”

Kitagawa based his comment on the latest data trend as well as results of a consumer survey Gartner took recently. Its findings:

“[T]he majority of consumers own, and use, at least three different types of devices in mature [geographic] markets. Among these devices, the PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they used to. Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again.”

Still “the bread and butter”

However, at Lenovo, the world’s top PC seller for three years now even if by the slimmest of margins, the commitment to PCs remains strong as new products, technology and more continue to be rolled out.

“Lenovo has been the # 1 PC company in the world for three straight years,” a spokesperson explained.

“Lenovo also strengthened its #3 position in the U.S. and reached a record high market share.”

WRAL TechWire reached out to Lenovo, which operates one of its two global headquarters in Morrisvlle, for comment on the latest statistics, which show a big decline for the company despite continuing growth in U.S. sales.

“In spite of a challenging macro-economy and PC environment, our PC business remains strong in achieving high market share and profitability,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Gianfranco Lanci.

In the past, Chair and CEO Yang Yuanqing has described PCs as Lenovo’s “bread and butter” even as it expanded server and smartphone efforts with buys of IBM’s x86 server business and Google’s Motorola Mobility. Lenovo also has invested heavily in Internet-of-Things.

But PCs are never far from first in thought.

“This quarter’s results are further proof that we are on the right path to achieving our worldwide PC market share goals, built on a foundation of strong execution and innovative products like the Yoga convertibles, Miix 2-in-1 detachables, ThinkPad X1 family and Y series gaming devices,” Lanci said.

Lenovo did grow share by a tenth of a point and is aiming for another 10 points.

Fujitsu the next buy?

Lenovo’s sales have declined globally even as market share has grown. And in a bid to reverse the sales trend, Lenovo has engaged in talks to possibly buy the PC business of Fujitsu in Japan. Fujitsu said it had talked with Lenovo about a possible deal.

The Lenovo spokesperson declined to talk about whether a deal was in the works.

“We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” she said.

But Lenovo’s track record of buying competitors in Japan (NEC) and elsewhere is proof that acquisition has been a big tool to grow its business.

After all, Lenovo became a global name with the deal for IBM’s PC business a decade ago.