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HP eyes Apple’s premium laptop market

HP eyes Apple’s premium laptop market 

The global PC market continues to face challenges from longer-PC lifecycles, as well as competition from mobile phones and tablets.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.9 million units in the fourth quarter if 2015 – a year-on-year decline of -10.6 per cent, according to analyst group International Data Corp.’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The year 2015 marked the PC year since 2008 that manufacturers moved less than 300 million units.

“Even as mainstream desktops and notebooks see their lifetimes stretched longer, Apple’s emergence as a top 5 global PC vendor in 2015 shows there can be strong demand for innovative, even premium-price systems that put user experience fort,” said Jay Chou, research manager at IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker.

Here’s IDC’s assessment of the performance of the top five PC makers:

– Lenovo maintained its top rank for the quarter and all of 2015, exceeding 20 per cent market share for the year. Shipments reached nearly 15.4 million units in the fourth quarter, mostly due to strong volume in North America.

– HP was the number 2 vendor, slightly outperforming the market although its volume declined across regions.

– Dell remained the number 3 vendor at nearly 10.2 million units with above-market performance in the U.S.

– Asus outperformed the market and moved into the number 4 position. With nearly 6 million units and 7.9 per cent market share, this was the best quarter for ASUS since 2012. Strong sales in Asia/Pacific boosted the growth.

– Apple effectively tied Asus for the number 4 position in the fourth quarter but was clearly ahead on an annual basis. The company continued its strong run and outperformed the market, increasing its share globally to 7.9 per cent for the quarter and 7.5 per cent for the year.

HP, however, wants to capture the premium PC space.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has not been doing much in the high-end front over the last five years, but HP is now ready to “take on share in Apple’s traditional space,” Dion Weisler, chief executive of HP said in an interview with the Financial Times.

PC account for two-thirds of HP’s revenue, but Weisler said the slowing shrinking PC market “will moderate over time.”

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