Lenovo is now the top PC seller with Hewlett-Packard taking second place and Dell in third, but that depends on which research firm you want to believe. Gartner says Lenovo is number one but IDC says HP is still in the top spot. Though Gartner and IDC have different results, they did agree on one thing: Lenovo sold more than 13.8 million units in the past year, which means a lot for any company, especially with the fact that the demand for PCs has significantly diminished these past 12 months.
So what is Lenovo’s secret? How come they’re selling loads more units than HP and Dell? The answer is simple: diversity.
Lenovo had no problem creating products that appeal to different types of people. They have computers ideal for home or office use, laptops styled for business people, and even ones that look stylish and fresh for the younger demographic. And of course, they adapted quite well to the tablet era.
People are beginning to prefer tablets over laptops because of their smaller stature and increased mobility, making them easy to take to school or work. And they’re cheaper than most laptops or netbooks. But simply making mobile devices doesn’t guarantee success for PC makers, as Dell and HP have both launched Android and Windows devices to little avail.
For Lenovo, however, their strategy is bigger than merely making mobile devices. One issue Lenovo’s addressed is the software problem for tablets, which often pack less power than notebooks. Lenovo is really settling into a transitionary role for the consumer sector. Its IdeaPad Lynx, for instance, separates into two devices, the screen turning into a stand-alone tablet. But this hasn’t been a winning strategy for everyone, as we saw Motorola drop its Webtop accessory line due to lack of consumer interest.
Lenovo keeps pushing to give consumers what they want with this new line of hybrids for the PC-to-mobile transition. These are laptops that can be used as a tablet or if you look at it in another angle, these are tablets that transforms into laptops. Whatever floats your boat (see the below video for more analysis).
Another contributing factor to Lenovo’s traction is their dominance in their own backyard. Their products are well received by the Chinese market, which we all know has a huge population of consumers that aren’t shy about getting their techie on. China is still a growing market and as more people become interested in the broadening array of consumer electronics, the higher the demand for PCs and tablets.
But that’s not to undercut Lenovo’s global appeal. In the previous quarter, Lenovo’s sales in the US increased by 6.8 percent or about $1.18 billion, while sales in Europe and the Middle East were at $1.58 billion.
Then there’s the target marketing. Lenovo is aware that in some markets, their products aren’t as popular as they want it to be. So to target their weak areas, they make local investments like the one they plan to do in Itu, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. They plan to invest $30 million to build a computer factory in Itu as Brazil is seen as an emerging market and they want to cater to first-time PC buyers.
A similar initiative is kicking off in the US, where Lenovo plans to build a plant in North Carolina. As we’ve seen with automobile manufacturers, installing local plants and factories is a good way to penetrate a market, cut down on shipping costs and build national pride around their locally crafted products.