China’s Lenovo takes aim at computer world’s major players

First China and now for the world. That's been the bold boast coming out of the offices of Lenovo Group over the past week.

The China-based PC maker has its eyes on becoming the world's second-largest producer of personal gadgetry - and it would take a brave man to bet against the boast. While just 10 years ago sales of Lenovo's equipment accounted for three percent of the international PC market, figures in from the last quarter of 2011 show that share has risen to 12 percent - or third in the world - according to industry watchers Gartner Inc.

Lenovo now has its sights set on topping the Dell corporation (12.5 percent of global PC sales) by the end of the year and at the same time making firm inroads into the 17.5 percent held by the world's top PC maker, Hewlett-Packard Corp. Apple currently holds around a five percent share of global PC sales.

The rise of Lenovo - noted for offering a cheaper PC alternative to the world's major players - has been one of Chinese industry's great success stories over the past decade. Under the guidance of often-outspoken chairman Liu Chuanzhi - famous for taking Apple Inc's former CEO Steve Jobs to task for ignoring the Chinese market - the company has purchased the PC division of the US-based IBM Corp, has this year started working with Japan's NEC Corp on a US$175 million (128 million euro) collaboration and has also taken the German electronics maker Medion AG under its wing.

Lenovo is the largest player in the Chinese PC market - with a 35 percent share - which helps account for the US$2.8 billion (2 billion euro) in sales the company enjoyed in this past quarter of 2011. China is now the world's largest PC market.

Chuanzhi has been emboldened recently by news that HP will be spinning off its PC division and scaling down production of mobile internet devices, announcing his company had designs on expanding its way out of the PC market and into smartphones and tablets.

Industry predictions have global PC sales hitting around 350 million units in 2011, around 50 million less than in 2010 as the popularity of other devices such as smartphones and tablets continues to rise.

MS

 

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