updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri September 9, 2011
Lenovo expects to pass Dell in PC sales in 2011
Lenovo chairman Liu Chuanzhi in comments bragged of his company's position in the PC space and expected to take the second place spot away from Dell this year. Lenovo's current pace was quick enough that it would happen in the last few months of the year. CEO Yuanqing Yang pointed to an existing quick pace but also took a dig at HP's possible exit from PCs, suggesting that it wasn't an iPad effect but weak will and poor performance at HP that was leading it to wither in the face of smartphones and the iPad.
"PCs continue to be a very strong core business for us," he said. "Even as we invest in new areas like tablets and mobile internet, we see great opportunity in PCs around the world. We are committed to the PC space for the long term and expect it to continue to fuel profitable, balanced global growth for Lenovo."
The current keeper of the ThinkPad has had multiple key advantages in its current growth. Being native to China has helped it take advantage of a rapidly growing market for PCs in the country, but it has also had success in Europe and elsewhere. A deal with NEC and a buyout of Medion have both consolidated Lenovo's share in key areas and, in the case of Medion, may have been to outpace Apple.
Long-term concerns still exist for Lenovo. Its IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad Tablet have so far been met with tepid reviews, and the company has no real presence in smartphones outside of China. HP and Dell have faced tough prospects in China, but Apple's mobile efforts have seen it grow its Southeast Asian revenue sixfold in one year and both its iOS devices and Macs become high-demand if luxury items.
Some of Lenovo's chances are also based on stumbles from others. Acer's overdependence on netbooks and refusal to acknowledge the iPad as a threat have sent its share plunging. Dell and HP have also been blamed for at times overly large product lines, too much focus on cheap notebooks, and a lack of any real presence in the mobile world.