Lenovo now the world's largest PC maker

  • Updated: October 10, 2012 - 9:04 PM
Lenovo now the world's largest PC maker

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s six-year reign as the world's top personal-computer maker was ended by China's Lenovo Group Ltd., highlighting the challenges facing CEO Meg Whitman as she strives to revive growth at the 73-year-old U.S. technology company. Lenovo, which made a deeper push into the market by acquiring IBM Corp.'s PC unit seven years ago, accounted for 15.7 percent of global shipments in the third quarter, compared to 15.5 percent for Hewlett-Packard, according to market-research firm Gartner Inc. While another firm, IDC, said Hewlett-Packard still had the No. 1 position by a slim margin last quarter, its research also showed Lenovo closing the gap.

Large Toyota recall to address faulty switch

Toyota will recall 2.5 million vehicles sold in the U.S. to fix a faulty power window switch linked to several hundred reports of smoke and fires and at least nine injuries. The automaker said it is not aware of any crashes resulting from the problem. The move is part of a global recall of nearly 7.5 million vehicles. The U.S. recall includes the 2007-2008 Yaris, the 2007-2009 RAV4, the 2007-2009 Tundra, the 2007-2009 Camry, the 2007-2009 Camry Hybrid, the 2008-2009 Scion xD, the 2008-2009 Scion xB, the 2008-2009 Sequoia, the 2008 Highlander, the 2008 Highlander Hybrid, the 2009 Corolla and the 2009 Matrix.

Piper survey: 40% of teens have iPhones

IPhone fever is not just an adult affliction. It has trickled down to the younger population as well. Forty percent of U.S. teenagers now own an iPhone, according to a new survey of 7,700 teens by Piper Jaffray & Co. And the ranks of these young iPhone owners are growing rapidly. Back in the spring of 2011, only 17 percent of teens said they owned an iPhone. By the fall of 2011, that number had grown to 23 percent. In the spring of 2012, just six months ago, the number was at 34 percent.

Wal-Mart accelerates small-format stores

Get ready for more small Wal-Mart stores, and sooner. The mega-retailer known for its big-box strategy said it's planning to speed up openings of its Neighborhood Market and Express stores. The company said it hopes to launch 500 Neighborhood Market stores and 12 Express stores by fiscal year 2016. The Express format is usually 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, while the Neighborhood Market concept tends to come in under 55,000 square feet. Both models are designed to operate well in urban markets, where Wal-Mart is hoping to expand.

Bain to buy maker of Craftsman tools for $1.6B

Bain Capital agreed to buy Apex Tool Group, the maker of Craftsman hand tools, from Danaher Corp. and Cooper Industries PLC for about $1.6 billion in its largest deal so far this year. Danaher expects the sale to the Boston-based private-equity firm to generate after-tax net proceeds of about $650 million and be completed in the first half of 2013, the two companies said. Danaher and Cooper each own 50 percent of Apex.

Equifax to settle consumer data complaint

One of the nation's largest credit reporting agencies has agreed to pay $393,000 to settle charges that it improperly sold lists of consumers who were late on their mortgage payments, government regulators announced. Atlanta-based Equifax Information Services and companies that bought and resold the consumer data will pay a total of $1.6 million to settle two separate complaints filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The complaints state that from 2008 to 2010, Equifax sold more than 17,000 "prescreened" lists of consumers to Direct Lending Source Inc., a Key Largo, Fla., company.

Wendy's crowned drive-thru champion

In less time than it takes some computers to power up, Wendy's can get a customer in and out of its drive-thru. The fast food chain needed 129.75 seconds to clear a car through its queue last year -- 16 seconds better than 2010, and faster than any other major chain, according to an annual report from QSR Magazine. Less impressive: Burger King, which requires 201.33 seconds to serve car-bound customers and also has the worst precision record. The chain correctly delivers 83 percent of its drive-thru orders, down 6.7 percentage points from 2010.

Calif. poultry producer files for bankruptcy

Zacky Farms, a Fresno, Calif.-based poultry producer, has filed for bankruptcy with plans to sell itself to pay creditors owed as much as $100 million. The closely held company blamed the filing on heavy debt and soaring feed costs in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, Calif. Zacky listed as much as $100 million in assets. "Normal operations and customer service will continue without disruption," Zacky officials said. Zacky needs to borrow $71 million to keep operating in bankruptcy, according to court papers.

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