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Study: HP edges Lenovo on its home turf

Hewlett-Packard became the top PC maker in Asia-Pacific during the first quarter, IDC says. But it's not the biggest gainer.

Hewlett-Packard edged out Lenovo Group to become the largest PC maker in Asia-Pacific during the first quarter, according to IDC.

Of late, HP has been No. 2 to Dell on the worldwide PC market. But in Asia-Pacific it took the top spot, garnering 11.7 percent of the nearly 9-million-unit quarterly market. The company registered a 28.8 percent year-over-year increase in unit shipments for the January to March period.

In doing so, the company slid past the Chinese computer giant, which plans to acquire IBM's PC business.

Lenovo came in a close second with 11 percent of the market. The company's number of units shipped grew by 20 percent.

Overall PC shipments to Asia-Pacific totaled 8.9 million for the quarter, a 13 percent rise compared with the first quarter of 2004 and slightly above IDC's forecast, the market researcher said in a statement.

The research company said last week that sales in Asia, Europe and the Middle East helped boost worldwide PC unit shipments by 10.9 percent in the first quarter.

"Despite an increased potential for catastrophe as a result of multiple earthquakes and bird flu, the Asia-Pacific PC market was left unscathed," Bryan Ma, an IDC analyst, said in a statement.

IDC includes regions such as China, India, Singapore and Taiwan in its tally for the Asia-Pacific region. It counts Japan, which is one of the world's single largest PC markets, separately.

HP made progress in several key markets in the region, while Lenovo suffered slower sales because of China's Lunar New Year celebrations in February, as well as high levels of inventories in the channels from the previous quarter, IDC's statement said.

But the victory for HP could be a temporary one, as Lenovo stands to gain greater heft in Asia-Pacific with the IBM deal. The acquisition is set to close this quarter.

Third-place Dell had almost 8 percent of the Asia-Pacific market. But the Round Rock, Texas, company showed the largest unit shipment increase among the top five in the region, a 29.1 percent increase for the quarter.

IBM had just over 6 percent of the market, but its shipments fell 2.2 percent from last year, IDC said.

Founder rounded out the top five with just over 5 percent of the market. Its shipments for the quarter jumped almost 23 percent.