Lenovo puts its money on the PC market
By Chong Jinn Xiung April 5, 2017
- Consumers favouring convertible two-in-one devices over tablets
- Lenovo is focusing its efforts on growing its commercial business and gaming offerings
DO A search on Google for PC sales and you are likely to hit the search term “PC sales decline”. One thing is for certain, the PC market is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of PCs flying off the shelves as soon as they are unpacked.
According to IDC reports, worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook and workstation) totalled 70.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, posting a year-on-year decline of 1.5%
But despite the rather gloomy perception painted by search results, the world’s largest PC maker Lenovo is optimistic that this year will be better than the last as it continues to hold the top spot and capped the quarter growing 1.7% globally, ending six consecutive quarters of declines.
In an exclusive interview with DNA, Lenovo country general manager for Malaysia and Singapore Khoo Hung Chuan (pic above) says that he believes that the PC market has stabilised as Lenovo’s third quarter results saw a growth in its PC business with a total shipment of 15.7 million PCs worldwide during the quarter.
He notes that Lenovo has also seen strong growth in its tablets as well as gaming PCs and detachables.
This has been in line with Lenovo’s observation that customers are shifting focus from mobile devices like tablets towards two-in-one convertible notebooks.
“I would say that tablets are more for content consumption rather than content creation. Previously people thought they could use a tablet for content creation but realised no matter how many accessories you buy to add onto a tablet, it still can't match what a notebook can do,” he said.
Khoo stresses that innovation is one of the key areas that Lenovo has been focusing on with its products in order to differentiate themselves.
Just as their tagline says “different is better”, Lenovo has introduced cutting-edge products over the past year that are quite unlike anything that is currently on the market. Case in point, its slim Yoga Book, a two-in-one model that functions both as a tablet and notebook.
Almost as slim as a paper notebook, Khoo says the Yoga Book has impressed customers with its versatility as a notebook and part drawing tablet with its unique create pad that doubles as both a keyboard and drawing pad to be used with its stylus.
“The advent of the convertible notebook helps address the needs of customers. Previously there was a gap and that’s the reason they moved to the tablet and now back again,” said Khoo.
The desktop connection
It is often said that the desktop PCs will go out of style as more people opt for mobility with devices like notebooks and smartphones.
“At one point in time when people thought that as notebooks get more powerful, people will eventually replace their desktops altogether,” recalls Khoo.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth as Lenovo says that its desktop PC sales are still relatively healthy.
Khoo even notes that the ratio of sales of desktops and laptops in Malaysia is still at 60:40.
“I was quite surprised myself to find that customers were still buying desktops. In fact, our number of sales hasn’t dropped but have stayed the course,” he said.
Indeed, the desktop PC market is a different type of market altogether as banks and government departments still prefer desktops to notebooks as they are easier to secure.
According to Khoo, easier internal control and prevention of theft are some of the reasons why their customers in the banking and public sector prefer these hulking pieces of hardware from another era.
That being said Lenovo has stated that it is putting more focus this year into driving its commercial business, addressing the needs of businesses, hospitals, government departments and more.
Not just fun and games
Lenovo has also started to take its gaming PC segment more seriously this year, having launched its Legion line of gaming notebooks recently and sponsoring ESL One Genting earlier this year, it looks like it is full steam ahead.
“When we first entered the gaming market, we thought it was all about premium notebooks. But what we found was that there was strong demand from students particularly, who want affordable gaming notebooks that allow them to work and play games on,” said Khoo.
He adds that Lenovo’s approach to gaming has changed as it is going beyond just selling hardware and towards building an entire ecosystem to support the local gaming scene.
“We will be more active this year as we want to engage more with our gaming community through contests and events,” he said.
Apart from gaming notebooks, Lenovo is also looking at expanding its gaming line-up to include gaming ready desktops and All-in-One models.
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