MORRISVILLE – Lenovo, given a big lift by a jump in sales across the US, retains its hold on the rank of No. 1 in global PC sales according to research firms Gartner and IDC.

However, the industry in general suffered a significant decline in sales for the first quarter due in large part to the global coronavirus pandemic, the research firms said.

Lenovo shipments fell by some 600,000 units, IDC and Gartner reported. But the tech giant, which operates headquarters in Morrisville and Beijing, still improved its marketshare to 24.1 percent in IDC’s ranking from 22.7 percent year over year. Gartner gives Lenovo a 24.4 percent share, up from 22.1 percent.

“Lenovo once again managed to capture the leading position despite declining 4.3% during the quarter,” IDC reported. “Excluding the Asia/Pacific region and Japan, the company managed to grow across all the other regions thanks to increased demand stemming from new work from home policies.”

And Lenovo reported recently that all its factories in China were expected to be back in operation by March 31.

Source: IDC

Matthew Zielinski, president of Lenovo’s North America Intelligent Devices Group, said Lenovo had seen “surge of demand” for PCs as the coronavirus spread.  “I’m happy to say that we’ve seen significant improvements in our factory outputs,” Zielinski told Computer Reseller News, citing improvement in Lenovo’s supply chain.

Just a year ago, Lenovo toppled HP from the top spot. HP’s share declined to 22 percent and remained at 21.5 percent per IDC and Gartner respectively. Dell came in third at 19.7 percent in both reports.

Lenovo got a big boost in the US where sales soared nearly 29 percent to just over 1.9 million units. Its marketshare climbed to 17.5 percent from 13.7 percent and is good for third place behind Dell (31.4 percent share) and HP (24.8 percent share).

Over the past several years through partnerships with sports leagues and more aggressive promotion with retail partners such as Best Buy, Lenovo has made the US market a major priority. Despite the growth, however, the US market represents about one sixth of Lenovo’s sales.

But Gartner noted that the US market in general suffered despite a growth in demand for PCs for work from home as the coronavirus led to many firms ordered employees to work from home.

“While the Traditional PC market saw growth for much of 2019, the first quarter of 2020 produced a significant drop in shipments in the US. Current volume estimates show a year-over-year decline of 4%, which would mark this as the lowest quarterly shipment volume seen in more than a decade,” Gartner said of the US. “While the desktop market is expected to maintain low single digit year-over-year growth, the notebook market is expected to contract by upwards of 8%.”

Overall, IDC noted that PC sales declined nearly 10 percent in the first quarter.

“The stark decline after a year of growth in 2019 was the result of reduced supply due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the world’s largest supplier of PCs,” IDC said.

Gartner cited similar figures.

But the work-from-home demand could help sales – for a time, at least.

“Though supply of new PCs was somewhat limited during the quarter, a few vendors and retailers were able to keep up with the additional demand as the threat of increased tariffs last year led to some inventory stockpiling at the end of 2019,” said Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “However, this bump in demand may be short lived as many fear the worst is yet to come and this could lead to both consumers and businesses tightening spending in the coming months.”

Read more from IDC online. 

“The single most significant influencing factor for PC shipment decline was the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in disruptions to both the supply and demand of PCs,” explained Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “Following the first lockdown in China in late January, there was lower PC production volume in February that turned into logistics challenges.

“Once coronavirus-related lockdowns expanded to other regions, there were new, sudden pockets of PC demand for remote workers and online classrooms that PC manufacturers could not keep up with.”

Read more at Gartner’s website.

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