Expanding on its popular ThinkPad family of PCs, Lenovo is stepping out of its comfort zone and launching into the heady and lucrative consumer market in 15 different countries, including the U.S.
On the eve of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Lenovo announced a new line of laptop and desktop PCs on Thursday. A clear takeoff on its ThinkPad series, the three new consumer-oriented laptops are being hailed the IdeaPad. The three new desktops are branded IdeaCentre.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510
"The most compelling reason for the move is the fact that over 40% of the market opportunity in PCs is in the consumer space," Craig Merrigan, a vice president at Lenovo, told Computerworld. "Lenovo has done a very good job of solidifying our business in China and outside of China, and starting to grow in the small business area. The consumer base is the biggest market we have not addressed."
View more stories from 2008 International CES Lenovo bought IBM's PC business three years ago, and continued IBM's corporate focus, while selling to consumers only in China, where it has been very successful.
Now, Lenovo is branching out, pushing its consumer-oriented machines in other countries like the U.S., France, Russia, South Africa, India, Australia and Malaysia.
Right now, the company plans to sell only consumer laptops in the U.S. Merrigan said that he's not sure when Lenovo will start pushing its consumer desktops here.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at The Enderle Group, said many people have been waiting for Lenovo to make the move into the consumer market.
"One of the biggest mistakes IBM made was getting out of the consumer market," said Enderle. "When Lenovo acquired them, they had no consumer presence anymore. Now they are unmaking that mistake."
Enderle added that becoming a player in the enthusiast and gaming market will bring Lenovo a lot of notice. "You get much more attention to your products, even your corporate products," he noted. "Consumer buyers are often corporate users and corporate buyers during the day."