Thursday, October 13, 2011
Lenovo passes Dell to become world's No 2 PC maker
--Lenovo replaces Dell to become world's 2nd-largest PC maker
--Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing says the company will keep pursuing acquisitions to boost growth
China's Lenovo Group Ltd. LNVGY +2.40% was named the world's No. 2 personal-computer maker by two research firms on Thursday and Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said the Chinese company will keep pursuing acquisitions to boost growth.
The firms--Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp.-- also found that global PC shipments rose more slowly than expected in the third quarter, in a sign of consumers' shift away from laptop and desktop computers toward mobile devices as their budgets shrink.
Lenovo will "fully leverage" acquisitions to keep growing, Yang said in an interview, without elaborating on specific acquisition targets. Lenovo, which bought International Business Machines Corp.'s PC business in 2005, passed Dell Inc. DELL -1.23% in the third quarter to take the PC market's second-place rank in terms of shipments, according to separate surveys by data trackers IDC and Gartner.
Yang said Lenovo's new status as the industry's No. 2 makes it a "strong challenger" to become the world's top PC maker, a status currently held by Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) PC business. He added Lenovo won't sacrifice its gross margin to boost its market share.
Both research firms said Lenovo's growth came from increased shipments to Japan and European markets. Gartner attributed Lenovo's growth to its aggressive pricing.
Yang declined to comment on whether Lenovo would be interested in buying H-P's PC business, which it has said it is considering selling or spinning off.
Lenovo earlier this year acquired German PC maker Medion AG, for which it had said it would pay up to EUR465 million (about $640 million) in cash and stock. Lenovo during its last quarter also finished forming a joint venture with Japanese PC maker NEC Corp., a deal in which NEC received $175 million in Lenovo shares.
Yang said he is comfortable with his current stake in the company. Yang in June bought about 8% of Lenovo's outstanding shares for around 3.15 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$403.8 million) from the company's biggest shareholder, Legend Holdings Ltd.
Gartner said shipments of PCs around the world climbed 3.2% to 91.8 million units in the third quarter, well below its earlier projection of 5.1% growth. A similar IDC survey pegged the industry's growth rate in the quarter at 3.6%, lower than an earlier projection of 4.5% growth.
Over the past few months, major PC makers such as H-P and Dell have warned that consumer spending appeared to be slipping. Both Gartner and IDC acknowledged that consumer-PC buying during the important back-to-school season was weak. But they also reported that mobile devices, such as Apple Inc.'s iPad, were competing for and often winning consumer attention when making technology purchases.
"For the moment, PCs have taken a backseat to a range of other devices competing for shrinking consumer and business budgets," IDC analyst Jay Chou said in a report.