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Lenovo still shares No. 1 ranking

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Lenovo's PC shipments rose 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter despite a down market, but the company fell short of its goal of becoming the undisputed leader in the worldwide computer market.

Research firm IDC reported Thursday that HP held onto the top spot in the fourth quarter even though its PC shipments fell six-tenths of a percent. IDC ranked HP No. 1 with a 16.7 percent market share, followed by a 15.7 percent share for Lenovo.

Lenovo's shipments have been far outpacing the overall market for more than three years, and last quarter it moved into the No. 1 spot in the worldwide rankings compiled by research firm Gartner for the first time. But IDC continued to rank Lenovo No. 2 in the third quarter, just as it did in the fourth-quarter results issued this week.

So Lenovo can justifiably boast that it's No. 1 -- but so can HP. Lenovo is based in China but has an executive headquarters in Morrisville where it employs about 2,000 workers.

Gartner hasn't yet released its tally of fourth-quarter PC shipments.

IDC noted that although Lenovo outpaced the market in the fourth quarter, the company's gains were "significantly smaller than several quarters ago when the company was besting market growth by nearly 30 percent."

IDC reported that overall PC sales fell 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter, worse than expected and the first time in more than five years that the PC market declined during the holiday season.

Although Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system debuted in the fourth quarter, "the PC market continued to take a back seat to competing devices and sustained economic woes," IDC noted.

PC shipments in the U.S. market fell 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter, IDC reported.

Lenovo's U.S. shipments rose 11.6 percent in the fourth quarter, but HP grew even faster -- 12.4 percent.

Lenovo continues to rank fourth in the U.S. market, behind HP, Dell and Apple.

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About the blogger

David Ranii has been a business reporter at The News & Observer since 1993. Over the years he has covered information technology, banking, insurance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, media businesses and real estate. Contact him at 919-829-4877 or e-mail him.