Lenovo bets on new products to return to profit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 May, 2009, 12:00am

Lenovo Group, brushing aside its second consecutive quarter in the red, has introduced new additions to its line of personal computers, delivering on a pledge to sharpen its business performance.

Chief executive Yang Yuanqing vowed last week that Lenovo would 'execute with speed, efficiency and focus' to drive innovation and return to profitability after posting a record quarterly net loss of US$264 million in the first three months of this year.

With an eye to challenging market leaders, the world's fourth-largest personal computer supplier has unveiled three additions to its IdeaPad-brand notebook computer family - the U350 and Y650 laptops and the S12 netbook.

'We've heard from consumers loud and clear about the need for affordable and extremely portable computing devices,' said Dion Weisler, a vice-president for business operations at Lenovo's Idea product group.

Mr Weisler said the new products meet demand for thinner and lighter personal computers with enhanced connectivity and extra-long battery life.

Notebook computers, which continue to drive growth in the personal computer industry, accounted for about 58 per cent of Lenovo's US$14.9 billion first-quarter revenue.

Chief financial officer Wong Wai-ming, however, said limited participation in the netbook segment and the consumer market outside China gave Lenovo a lower notebook market share in the first quarter.

The low-cost, internet-ready netbook is smaller than a standard laptop computer and has fewer applications. It is technically categorised as a mini-notebook.

'Despite a late start in netbooks, Lenovo has managed to garner up to 7 per cent of the market over the past quarter, demonstrating that it is making some headway in the consumer personal computer segment,' Macquarie Research analyst Patrick Yau said in a report.

Market analyst firm DisplaySearch estimated there were almost 6 million netbooks shipped in the first quarter, led by Taiwanese suppliers Acer and AsusTek Computer.

Mr Weisler said Lenovo's IdeaPad S12 netbook was the first in the industry to provide high-definition video and multimedia entertainment capabilities.