TOKYO -- Five top spots changed hands out of 50 products and services covered by The Nikkei's 2013 market share rankings, released Saturday. PCs, communication servers, video game consoles, crude oil transportation and wind power generation equipment saw changes at the top.
Many companies that pushed up their market share significantly in the latest survey did so through acquisitions.
In PC category, China's Lenovo Group took the lead from U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard for the first time. The Chinese company did so through acquisitions overseas. Lenovo, which purchased PC units from companies such as IBM of the U.S. and Japan's NEC, was the only major maker in its sector to increase unit-based shipments in 2013. The company aims to step up its smartphone and server businesses in the future. In the server category, HP took top spot from IBM.
In video-game console section, Sony Computer Entertainment got ahead of former lead Nintendo with the launch of PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, National Iranian Oil pulled ahead of major Japanese maritime transporters such as Mitsui O.S.K. Lines in transportation of crude oil, as Japanese shipping agents reined back operations.
In terms of the installation of wind power generation equipment, Danish company Vestas Wind Systems replaced U.S.-based General Electric's unit in that industry as the world's top installer. U.S. demand for wind power equipment declined last year.
Micron Technology of the U.S. rose to the second place in the DRAM market through the acquisition of Elpida Memory. Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's No. 1 brewery, continued to widen the share of beer and beerlike beverages by snapping up major competitors in Mexico and South Korea. IBM gained the third largest market share for security software, thanks to robust sales of products it added to its lineup through acquisitions.
American companies ranked first in the markets for 18 products and services. Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor, had the next-largest count, coming out on top in 11 categories. Sony came out on the top in three categories. Canon headed the list in two categories, including digital cameras.
European companies were at the top spot in eight items, three more than the year before. Chinese brands took first place in six items, the same as last year. South Korean businesses came out on top in only six categories, down from eight categories the previous year.
The strength of Chinese companies seems to be largely attributable to the fact that they have the world's largest market.
Haier Group dominates the global market with outstanding price competitiveness, thanks to advantage of scale. It kept the lead in the refrigerator and washing machine categories for a second year. China National Tobacco also kept the top spot in the tobacco market.
Meanwhile, South Korean companies were strong in digital home electronics appliances and related markets. Samsung Electronics was the market leader in smartphone, flat screen TV, NAND flash memory and DRAM. Samsung SDI took top spot in lithium batteries. As for liquid crystal display panels, LG Display came first.