Lenovo Overtakes HP As #1 PC Maker; Unveils Three Hybrid Laptop/Tablets


Lenovo has apparently knocked HP off of its perch, surpassing the American firm to become the world’s number one PC manufacturer, according to new figures by research firm Gartner.

Lenovo – makers of the iconic ThinkPad and IdeaPad – shipped out 13.8 million units over the third quarter, compared to just 13.55 million units from HP, and was the only PC maker in the world’s top five to actually increase shipments to the US. Gartner said that key to Lenovo’s gain were a series of “Aggressive” price cuts in its products, which helped it to secure a greater share of the PC market.

However, not everyone agrees with Gartner’s assessment of the state of the PC industry – rival research firm IDC contradicted Gartner, saying that HP was still top dog according to its figures, although it admitted that Lenovo had closed the gap significantly since the previous quarter.

IDC say that HP shipped a total 13.9 million units, taking its overall share of the market to 15.9%, compared to a 15.7% share for Lenovo. Both IDC and Gartner agreed that Lenovo shipped close to 13.8 million units.

There’s little doubt that Lenovo has been the best performing PC maker in recent times though, thanks to the company’s aggressive strategy that has seen it slowly but surely take apart HP’s market share piece by piece, and more recently, target rivals such as Dell, currently the third biggest PC manufacturer. As a result, most analysts predict that the Chinese firm’s share of the market will only continue to increase.

Speaking to the BBC, Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan said: “Just the momentum that Lenovo has had, makes it inevitable that it will be the world’s number one PC maker across all charts.”

Lenovo’s New Hybrids

Lenovo’s ousting of HP comes on the same day that the company unveils a batch of new devices that it hopes will help to cement its position at the top of an emerging new niche in tech – the hybrid laptop/tablet.

IdeaPad Yoga

Lenovo’s new hybrid laptops come in three flavours – the IdeaPad Yoga, the ThinkPad Twist and the IdeaTab Lynx – with the company claiming that they’re designed to help users “do” more, being flexible enough to transform from laptop to tablet and any position in between, whilst offering touchscreens and a bunch of other features.

Probably the most innovative of the three is the IdeaPad Yoga, a high-end, consumer orientated machine with a screen that can fold out flat or spin around a full 360 degrees. The Yoga can be used in four different ways – as a tablet or laptop, as a “stand” with the screen ‘standing’ on the base, or as a “tent”, where the screen is flipped over backwards (kind of like an upright tablet, with the keyboard on the back).

The business-orientated ThinkPad Twist meanwhile, is a kind of hybrid Ultrabook that can fold itself into a tablet or a “tent”, while its monitor can also be flipped 180 degrees, making it ideal for displays and presentations. It’s also the sleekest of all three models, at just 20mm thick.

IdeaTab Lynx

Finally the IdeaTab Lynx does something that neither of the other two are capable off – it can split itself into two completely separate pieces. The keyboard section is essentially just a dock for the 11.6 inch screen, but allows for the machine to be used as both a genuine laptop and a tablet. Indeed, the screen section will even be sold separately, as a standalone tablet, although not having the keyboard attachment means that its battery life takes a considerable knock – around 8 hours, compared to a hefty 16 hours with the keyboard.

Lenovo says that all three devices will be on sale by the end of the year.