Lenovo Reclaims Top Spot as Biggest PC Maker

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China's Lenovo overtook U.S. tech giant Hewlett-Packard to become the No. 1 personal computer maker in the world in the second quarter, according to two technology research firms Gartner and IDC.

Lenovo briefly overtook HP as the No. 1 PC maker in third-quarter 2012, but that was only according to data from Gartner. IDC had maintained that HP was on top in the same period.

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This time, market leader Lenovo managed to take the top spot despite a slowdown in PC shipments in the June quarter. It shipped more computers that both HP and Dell, even though its numbers fell 1.4 percent compared with the same period last year, according to IDC.

In fact, Lenovo showed the smallest decline in PC shipments in the second quarter compared with all other firms in the top five, which includes Taiwan's Acer and ASUS.

The reason for the fall in shipments was China, which represents over 50 percent of Lenovo shipments, where short-term economic and inventory hurdles cut into second-quarter shipments, IDC said in a release.

The PC market contracted globally last quarter, with worldwide shipments falling almost 11 percent year over year, with the Asia-Pacific region falling for a fifth straight quarter, according to Gartner.

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"In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Close Race to the Top

The number of global shipments for Lenovo and HP show the close race for PC supremacy. IDC said Lenovo shipped 12.6 million PCs in the second quarter, compared with HP's 12.4 million. That gives it only a 0.3 percent lead in the market.

According to Gartner data, Lenovo shipped 0.4 percent more PCs than HP.

Even though HP was slightly behind Lenovo globally, it is the market leader in key regions such as the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Gartner said.

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"Asia-Pacific has been a weakness the last three years for HP, but preliminary second-quarter results suggest an improvement in their performance in the region," Gartner said.

In June, Lenovo also said it was in talks with a potential partner to enter the smartphone market.

The company has spent billions of dollars over the past few years to strengthen its computer business, purchasing Brazilian electronics maker CCE last year, Germany's Medion in 2011 and IBM's PC business in 2005, Reuters reported.

—By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani. Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu