MORRISVILLE – Lenovo by the slimmest of margins has regained the No. 1 spot for PC sales in a new report from global research firm Gartner.

However, a report from Gartner rival International Data Corporation still ranks HP as the top seller.

Lenovo lost the No. 1 PC sales slot in both the IDC and Gartner reports during the second quarter of 2017, ending a four-year hold on that rank.

Both reports show a stronger second quarter for Lenovo, which operates dual headquarters in Morrisville and Beijing, with each noting that Lenovo’s performance was boosted by its recently closed joint operating and production agreement with Japan-based Fujitsu.

Lenovo also continues to unveil new models, such as smaller “mini” desktop machines announced earlier this week. The additional models and the deal with Fujitsu are parts of Lenovo’s strategy to reignite its PC business after several quarters of declining or stagnant sales.

According to Gartner, Lenovo shipped 13,601,000 PCs in the second quarter.

HP was just behind at 13,589,000.

Both had a 21.9 percent global market share with Lenovo’s sales up year-over-year by 10.5 percent and HP increasing sales by 6.1 percent.

So who’s No. 1?

“Lenovo was in a virtual tie with HP Inc. for the top spot,” Gartner declared in the report.

Not so fast.

The IDC report still shows HP as No. 1 with a higher shipment total of 14.9 million and a 23.9 percent global market share.

Lenovo came in No. 2 at 13.8 million and a 22.1 percent share. But the Fujitsu deal did help Lenovo drive up sales by 11 percent in the quarter vs. 7.7 percent for HP.

Tracking Q2 2018 PC sales (IDC graphic)

Stronger PC market overall

Growth by Lenovo and HP reflected a stronger quarter overall for the entire PC industry in what Gartner called the best performance in years.

“Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.1 million units in the second quarter of 2018, a 1.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2017 … This is the first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012,” Gartner reported.

IDC concurred.

“The results exceeded IDC’s forecast of 0.3% growth and marks the strongest year-on-year growth rate in more than six years, when the first quarter of 2012 posted growth of 4.2%.,” IDC said, noting shipments imrpoved by 2.7 percent.

According to Gartner, business is driving demand, not individuals.

“PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in the report.

“In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behavior, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.”

All the top five PC sellers improved sales in the quarter, Gartner’s statistics show.

Read more from IDC online.

The Gartner report also is available online.