As reported by Owen Fletcher from the WSJ in BEIJING—China for the first time has passed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest personal-computer market, highlighting the growing importance of a country where big U.S. PC makers have struggled to compete against China’s Lenovo Group Ltd.
The shift underlines rapid industry changes in the PC industry world-wide. Consumer demand for PCs has soared in emerging markets, while it has faltered in developed markets. Meanwhile, the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, most notably Apple Inc.‘s iPhone and iPad, has raised concerns that purchases of such products could eat into demand for traditional desktop and laptop PCs. Reflecting those challenges, Hewlett-Packard Co., which is the world’s biggest PC maker but has lost popularity with Chinese consumers, last week said it is considering a sale or spinoff of its personal-computer business.