Lenovo’s lead in the world PC market is so thin it could be called angel-hair pasta thin.

The global tech giant’s PC sales lead is down to a scant 100,000 machines in a market where sales are measured quarterly in the tens of millions.

Lenovo stretched its No. 1 PC seller in-the-world-streak to three years – but just barely – according to new data.

Hard-charging HP nearly toppled Lenovo from the top spot in the third quarter, new statistics from research firm IDC show. Gartner reported similar statistics but with a slightly higher margin.

Only growth in the U.S. kept Lenovo ahead as its overall sales declined for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to IDC.

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Lenovo, which operates one of its two global headquarters in Morrisville, shipped 14.5 million machines in the quarter, down 3.2 percent year-over-year.

Its market share, however, increased slightly to 21.3 percent from 21.2 percent as other computer sellers experienced bigger losses in a continuing decline of PC sales.

HP, however, which has introduced a host of new products and launched an aggressive marketing program since being spun off last year from HP’s larger technology business. The efforts are paying off with sales climbing 3.3 percent to 14.4 million. Its market share improved to 21.2 percent from 19.7 percent.

Just a year ago, HP surged into a virtual tie with Lenovo, so the HP threat is hardly new.

Mixed Lenovo reviews

However, IDC offered a mixed bag review in its update of Lenovo’s performance:

“Lenovo held onto the top spot, although its lead over HP diminished to the smallest margin since Lenovo took the top position in 2013.

“Slower growth in China (where Lenovo has its largest share) has made it more difficult for Lenovo to defend its market lead.

“The recent third quarter of 2016 marked Lenovo’s sixth consecutive year-on-year decline in total shipments, trailing other market leaders who have returned to positive growth.

“Nevertheless, Lenovo continues to outpace the market and has made strong gains in key markets like the United States.”

U.S. surge continues

The bright spot for Lenovo remains the U.S.

It tightened a grip on the third spot behind HP and Dell at 15.2 percent market share – another record performance, Lenovo notes – as sales climbed to 2.7 million, up 17 percent.

Apple sales, meanwhile, plummeted, leaving Lenovo a strong No. 3.

HP and Dell still dominate at 30 percent and 26 percent shares. Both improved their sales.

Other vendor analysis

Here’s what IDC had to say about Lenovo’s other top competitors:

  • HP Inc. had a solid quarter with 3.3% growth globally. HP Inc. further consolidated its dominance of the U.S. market, where it grew 5.8% and boosted share to almost 30% for the first time. The company also saw gains in EMEA and Japan.
  • Dell also had a productive quarter with shipments of 10.7 million units, its second highest quarterly shipment volume since 2011. In 3Q16, Dell saw strong gains in Japan and the United States while EMEA and Latin America also improved.
  • Apple shipments continued to decline as the company prepares to refresh its PCs.
  • ASUS also continued to gain share overall with shipments increasing over 5.2% in 3Q16. Rebounding shipments in Japan captured the company’s highest growth, but substantial gains in the United States, EMEA, and Canada delivered important gains with higher volume – helping to offset challenges in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America.