NEW YORK — Lenovo, the computer maker with international executive headquarters in Morrisville and some 2,000 employees across the Tar Heel state is officially the world's largest seller of PCs, the company announced late Wednesday.
The victory comes at a time when worldwide shipments of personal computers are dropping – 11 percent in the April-June period, according to data from research firms Gartner and IDC – as people continued to migrate to tablets and other mobile devices.
Gartner Inc. said Wednesday that the PC industry is now experiencing the longest decline in its history, as shipments dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter. Computer makers shipped 76 million PCs in the April-June period, down from 85 million in the same three months of 2012, according to Gartner.
Lenovo sales make up 16.7 percent of that global market.
“We are proud that Lenovo has become the clear world leader in PCs, and we are grateful to our customers and to our global team for this success. Even in the toughest PC market ever, Lenovo has not only gained share, but we have steadily improved profitability," said Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing in a statement.
Gartner's Mikako Kitagawa said inexpensive tablets are displacing low-end computers in "mature" markets such as the United States. In emerging markets like China, meanwhile "inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market," she added.
Yang acknowledged the shifting market and Lenovo's plans for continued growth.
“PC leadership is just one milestone in a longer journey to become a true leader in the 'PC Plus' market, which includes tablets, smart phones, smart TVs and other 'smart connected' devices," he said.
IDC said the numbers "reflect a market that is still struggling with the transition to touch-based systems running Windows 8." Microsoft Corp.'s latest operating system launched in October and sales have disappointed analysts.
But Kitagawa said that while "Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market's decline, we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments."