Lenovo Continues Winning Streak As PC Shipments Top 68.5 Million Units For Q1 2015

Remember when tablets were supposed to render the PC market obsolete? Yeah, that may have been a slight overreaction by analysts to an emerging category that grew quickly due to the initial excitement, but now that the dust has settled, we can see just how unfounded those fears were. After all, another 68.5 million PCs were shipped and added to the tally in the first quarter of 2015 alone, with Lenovo leading the way.

Sure, that represents 6.7 percent year-over-year decline in shipments, but we're still talking about tens of millions of PCs in a single quarter, 14.2 million of which landed in the U.S. It also follows what International Data Corporation (IDC) dubbed a "strong second half of 2014" that benefited from people and businesses upgrading from Windows XP, along with price-driven consumer activity. And with Windows 10 around the bend, there could be another surge in shipments.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Carbon

"The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition to the free upgrade for consumers for a year after the release, Windows 10 should be a net positive as there is pent-up demand for replacements of older PCs," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing. "Only part of the installed base needs to replace systems to keep the overall growth rate above zero for rest of the year."

As previously mentioned, Lenovo led the pack with 13.4 million shipments, representing a 19.6 percent share of the market. HP continues to nip at Lenovo's heels, shipping 13 million PCs of its own for a 19 percent share of the market.

IDC's Figures
Source: IDC

After that, it was Dell shipping 9.2 million PCs for a 13.5 percent share, Acer shipping 4.8 million PCs for a 7.1 percent share, and Asus slightly less for a 7 percent share. All others combined shipped 23.2 million PCs for a 33.9 percent share of the market.

It wasn't a given that Lenovo would retain the top spot after the Superfish fiasco. In mid-February of this year, complaints arose that a piece of bundled software on certain Lenovo systems left users susceptible to a serious security flaw. Even worse is that the software wasn't easily removed -- uninstalling it still left behind a root certificate that required manual removal. After the situation blew up on the Internet, Lenovo owned up to and apologized for the incident, and vowed to stop bundling bloatware on PCs starting with Windows 10.

Lenovo's apology and promise apparently resonated with users, who responded by continuing to purchase the company's products more often than that of the competition.

Lenovo Yoga

“This quarter and for the last two consecutive years, Lenovo again maintained the No. 1 position in the worldwide PC market by demonstrating outstanding innovation in the PC product line. We are proud that we achieved industry-leading worldwide share of 19.6 percent, highlighted by record market share in the U.S of 11.8 percent, up 1.1 pts. year-over-year, said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo.

"We have had remarkable growth across all our businesses and success in building the Lenovo brand. I am tremendously proud of our broad success. Even as we continue to diversify and develop additional growth engines – like Mobile and Enterprise – we are fully committed to continuing to lead the way in PCs," Yuanqing added. "PCs remain at the heart of our business, delivering 65 percent of our revenue and record pre-tax income last quarter of almost $500m. Given industry consolidation, Lenovo’s consistent focus on innovation and delivering award-winning PCs, and our ongoing momentum, we are confident that PCs will continue to be a great engine of strong, profitable growth."

Looking ahead, IDC says PC shipments will remain "heavily dependent on pricing," noting that the pressure on price is bringing premium systems down to mid-level pricing tiers.