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HP remains No. 1 in PCs

Worldwide PC shipments up 12 percent, fueled by growth in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific regions.

Hewlett-Packard continued its sprint ahead of the competition in the second quarter of 2007, remaining the No. 1 PC vendor in the world. While Dell has continued to struggle, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba showed positive signs, each outpacing the worldwide PC market growth rate of 12.5 percent, according to IDC.

HP continued its successful run of strong quarters, leading all PC makers by shipping 11.3 million units, good enough for 19.3 percent of the overall market. Dell's global shipments were down almost 5 percent--to about 9.5 million PCs--from a year ago, but remained in second place behind HP.

Dell has taken a hard fall, though it's at least taken steps to recovery. The Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker, in trying to reclaim its momentum with consumers is now offering a line of its PCs in Wal-Mart stores, a fairly bold move and a departure from its traditional sales model. On the other hand, adding color to its notebook lineup, announced last month, is a bit of a me-too effort. In both cases there hasn't been enough time to see whether pink laptops or Wal-Mart's pull with shoppers have had any real effect on demand for Dell PC products.

Meanwhile, HP has experienced "rapid growth, and they have room to run," according to IDC analyst Loren Loverde. "If you look at where they're growing, making big strides in the U.S. despite a relatively soft market. They're clearly taking advantage of Dell's misfortunes."

Lenovo has also rebounded well. The Chinese PC maker made good strides in the second quarter, taking back its third-place mantle from Acer, which slipped down to fourth. Lenovo made up a lot of ground outside of Asia/Pacific.

"Since acquiring IBM's PC (business), Lenovo shipments outside of Asia have been declining and weren't able to get any growth," he said. "So the last couple of quarters they've been able to grow, and that's a really excellent turnaround."

In the U.S. market, Dell still leads the pack--for now. With 28.4 percent of the market, its shipments were down more than 10 percent. HP is nipping at its heels with a 23.6 percent share, followed by Gateway and Apple (both with 5.6 percent) and Toshiba with 5.3 percent, according to IDC.

Rival PC analyst firm Gartner places Acer in fourth place in the U.S. and knocks Apple down to sixth. Gartner shows Acer, which has only recently re-entered the U.S. market, with 163.9 percent growth over a year ago, shipping almost 900 million units, an astounding increase for the U.S., a market that just a few months ago was generally discouraging.