Lenovo is one of the world's top two PC manufacturers, neck and neck with HP. It became the global #1 for the first time in 2013, slipped back into second place again in 2017 but narrowly regained the lead again in 2019. Researcher IDC estimated global shipments of 64.8m PCs in 2019, equivalent to 24.3% share (compared to 23.6% for HP). It is almost certainly the most widely known Chinese brand, and arguably a model for other Chinese companies seeking a wider international presence. It secured a global profile in 2004 though the acquisition of IBM's PC division. However that deal proved more troublesome than had been anticipated. Tied to maintaining IBM's high standards of quality, Lenovo's market share was undercut in Western territories by more aggressive low-end competitors. Although it maintained dominance of its domestic market and of the wider Asia Pacific region, it lost its position as the worldwide #3 PC manufacturer during 2007 to Taiwanese rival Acer. Since 2010, though, the group has made an extraordinary recovery, not least through acquisitions in Japan (NEC computers), Germany (Medion) and Brazil (CCE). As a result, Lenovo regained its third place ranking in 2011, overtook longtime #2 Dell in the final quarter of that year, and then finally overtook HP in 2Q 2013. In two significant deals announced in early 2014, Lenovo agreed to acquire IBM's lower spec server business as well as the Motorola smartphone business from Google. It also acquired the license to make Google's Chromebook PCs, and Lenovo strengthened its position in Japan in 2018 with a deal to take control of Fujitsu's local PC business. It remains the best-selling PC brand in China by a considerable margin, a position it has held since 1997. However, its venture into smartphones has been much less successful generally, even in the domestic Chinese market where low cost rivals have gained a significant local lead. The smartphones division has only scraped a profit for the first time in 2018 after widespread cost-cutting and a scaling down of the number of models it offers. Group revenues for the year to Mar 2019 were a record $51.0bn, with net income of $657m. PCs accounted for 75% of sales; mobile for just 13%, and a fast-expanding data center division for the remaining 12%. China alone accounts for nearly a quarter of sales, and the Americas for almost another third. Yang Yuanqing is CEO.
Capsule checked 13th January 2020
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Historical profile information for Lenovo
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jan 2020: Lenovo regained its global lead for PCs sales over the full year in 2019 with a sudden growth spurt in the second half. IDC estimated full-year share of 24.3%, ahead of HP on 23.6% and Dell at 17.5%. Apple and Acer rounded out the top five. Those five companies combined accounted for 78% of the market. "This past year was a wild one in the PC world, which resulted in impressive market growth that ultimately ended seven consecutive years of market contraction," said IDC VP Ryan Reith. Total sales of almost 367m devices represented a year-on-year lift of 2.7%, the first full year of growth since 2011, buouyed up by a surge in upgrades following Microsoft's decision to stop supporting Windows 7. However, with that changeover completed, sales are expected to decline again in 2020.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Oct 2018: Lenovo regained the top spot from HP in IDC's ranking of the top-selling PC manufacturers worldwide in 3Q. The US company had overtaken its Chinese rival in 2017 for the first time in years. Total worldwide shipments were down almost 1% year-on-year as a result of a 12% decline at 5th-ranked Apple and 11% among all other smaller manufacturers. Lenovo, though, saw a near-6% increase in shipments (as did #3 Dell), while HP was more or less flat. Acer in 4th place was up 8.5% year on year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: New research from both IDC and Gartner suggests that the global PC market enjoyed its strongest quarter for six years. According to IDC, total PC shipments rose 2.7% to almost 62.3m devices, the best growth since 1Q 2012. However the growth was largely confined to the five leading manufacturers, all of whom reported a positive lift at the expense of other suppliers, who suffered a combined 11% decline. HP retained its position at the top of the table, though Lenovo closed the gap slightly as a result of its newly minted joint venture with Fujitsu of Japan. Dell remains 3rd, while Apple showed the weakest year-on-year growth (of just 0.1%) in 4th place. Acer rounded out the top five, with Asus ranked 6th globally. The top six companies alone account for well over 80% of total volumes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: Publicis Groupe captured global media for Lenovo computers and mobile devices (including the Moto brand). A new dedicated entity is being created under the banner of Publicis One Media, to be underpinned by Spark Foundry and data unit Performics. The account was previously split between several different agencies including MullenLowe Mediahub in the US, indie Total Media in most of Europe and Mediaplus in Germany.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jun 2018: Lenovo's global CMO David Roman has retired after eight years in that role. A veteran of the tech sector, he had previously spent 5 years as VP, worldwide marketing at HP, and 14 years as VP, worldwide advertising at Apple. He is replaced by Gina Qiao, previously SVP marketing at Lenovo's mobile division. At the same time, Nick Reynolds, former CMO for Asia Pacific was promoted to global head of marketing for digital, web & social media.
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