IdeaPad success spurs Lenovo to push new model

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 February, 2008, 12:00am


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Lenovo Group said its newly launched self-branded product has so far met the company's expectations, and consumers are eagerly awaiting the release of another new model in April.

Lenovo, the mainland's largest information technology firm, earlier this year released the IdeaPad Y510, with a 15.4-inch widescreen panel, and the IdeaPad Y710, with a 17-inch widescreen display, to glowing reviews.

'Retail sales of the IdeaPad notebook are meeting our ambitious expectations,' said William Amelio, the president and chief executive at Lenovo.

'Following our successful launch at the beginning of January, we started selling products at several top retailers and online resellers in Europe and the United States, with positive results so far.'

The Idea-brand line is part of Lenovo's international consumer market expansion and its first global products since acquiring IBM's ThinkPad and ThinkCentre business personal computer product line in 2005.

'Our channel partners love the products. In online ratings, 95 per cent of our US customers gave the new IdeaPad products a five-star rating,' Mr Amelio said.

The new IdeaCentre desktop personal computer will be available next month.

This will be followed by the April release of the ultra-portable U110 model which has an 11.1-inch display.

He said there was 'a lot of anticipation in the market' for the U110, which earned three top awards at the Consumer Electronics Show - the largest trade show of its kind - in the US early last month.

Its release has been predicted to fuel greater demand for IdeaPads worldwide this year.

He said 'any halo effect' from the U110 would take place on the product's release, when print and online advertising support would be intensified 'to create interest in Lenovo's whole IdeaPad product line'.

Market watchers are also upbeat about the IdeaPad's prospects.

'We believe the Idea sub-brand of consumer notebook and desktop personal computers will help Lenovo gain incremental market share in the US,' said Joseph Ho, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.

Since acquiring IBM's personal computer division, Lenovo has failed to crack the top-five personal computer supplier positions in the US and Europe because of a lack of consumer-oriented products.

Yet, Lenovo has been the perennial No1 personal computer supplier in the Asia-Pacific region, thanks to its being the dominant vendor in the mainland market.

Research firm International Data Corp (IDC) estimated Lenovo last year had an 18.4 per cent market share in the region, excluding Japan, while Acer was fourth with a 6.1 per cent share.

Mr Amelio said the positively reviewed new ThinkPad X300 ultra-portable computer - a notebook with a 13-inch display and the same Intel processor as Apple's recently released MacBook Air - represented another example of how Lenovo's development team was pushing the envelope in design and coming up with a 'truly innovative notebook'.

Bryan Ma, director of Asia-Pacific personal systems research at IDC, said 'portable PCs will continue to be a hot segment of the market across all countries'.

Lenovo is expected to post revenues of HK$131.02 billion in the financial year to March, up 14.93 per cent from HK$114 billion a year ago, according to consensus estimates of 18 brokers by Thomson Financial.

The mainland firm's net profits are also expected to jump 151.98 per cent to HK$3.17 billion in the 12 months to March from HK$1.26 billion the previous year.