Lenovo maintains No. 1 PC ranking

Lenovo retained its ranking as the world's No. 1 PC maker in the third quarter but remains in a nip-and-tuck battle with HP as both companies posted sales gains in spite of a slack market.

Market research firm Gartner said that "the upcoming holiday sales season will be a key battlefield for both companies."

Lenovo's gains were led by a strong showing in the U.S. market, where its shipments rose by about one-fourth -- 24.6 percent according to Gardner, while IDC reported a 25.8 percent jump. Both firms rank Lenovo No. 4 in U.S. sales and gaining on No. 3 Apple.

Lenovo is based in China but has a headquarters in Morrisville that employs more than 2,000 workers.

The third quarter was the second consecutive quarter that both Gartner and IDC ranked Lenovo tops in the world. IDC put its market share at 17.3 percent, versus 17.1 percent for HP. Gartner has Lenovo at 17.6 percent, versus 17.1 percent for HP.

Lenovo's shipments rose more than 2 percent worldwide in both firms' tallies despite a market that contracted 7.6 percent, according to IDC, or 8.6 percent, according to Gartner.

"Weakness in the Chinese market continued to affect Lenovo's overall growth," Gartner reported. It said overall shipments in Asia/Pacific fell 11.2 percent from a year ago.