We hear a lot about American companies offshoring their manufacturing operations to China, but now we have a true man-bites-dog story of a Chinese company shifting its own manufacturing to a plant in the United States. Bloomberg reports that Chinese PC vendor Lenovo has “recently opened a manufacturing plant in North Carolina” that will help the company ship its devices more quickly to American consumers. Lenovo North American president Jay Parker told Bloomberg TV that while the U.S. plant does pay higher wages than Chinese plants, the company is saving money by importing components rather than making everything in-house. Both Google and Apple have also signaled their intentions to produce a limited number of their hardware products in the United States so it seems that tech manufacturing in America may not be as dead as many once feared.
It may not be as big of an honor as it was five years ago, but Lenovo can now proudly say that it’s the world’s No.1 PC vendor. AllThingsD points out that the latest numbers from both Gartner and IDC show that Lenovo has overtaken HP to become the top PC OEM in the world by shipment volume. Lenovo didn’t accomplish this through stellar growth, however — the reality is that the company’s PC business is simply shrinking less quickly than its rivals. More →
Lenovo has never made a serious push into the realm of mobile devices but that may be about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Lenovo “is in preliminary talks with ‘multiple parties’ about a possible joint venture in smartphones” as a way to offset the global decline in PC sales. What makes Lenovo particularly interesting is that it’s been the only major Windows OEM to weather the collapse of the PC industry so far, as IDC earlier this year estimated that the company’s overall year-over-year PC shipments remained steady even as rival vendors’ sales plummeted by more than 20%. More →
A recent report suggested Windows 8 may have hurt the declining global PC market rather than helped it, and new inside data points to a continued negative trend in April. According to Digitimes’ research arm, the top-5 PC vendors in the world saw their notebook shipments plummet a combined 20% sequentially in March. The site thinks overall shipments will likely fall yet again in the second quarter as a result, and Q2 shipments could be down 15% year-over-year. HP, Acer and Lenovo saw the worst April shipment plunges according to Digitimes and excess inventory is reportedly building as vendors ready their next-generation laptop models.
The Wednesday IDC report on the disastrous state of the PC industry had one very interesting tidbit that many overlooked: Namely, that while companies such as HP (HPQ) and Acer (2353) saw their shipments collapse by more than 20% year-over-year, Lenovo (LNVGY) actually held steady and experienced no decline in shipments. According to Businessweek, there are a couple of reasons for this: First, Lenovo has been targeting its sales toward emerging markets such as Brazil and its native China, where demand for new PCs is higher than in the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea. Businessweek also says that Lenovo “makes almost one-third of its products in house, which helps it innovate and get those innovations to the market more quickly” while also allowing it “to rely less on factories that are also making computers for its competitors.” Having completely flat growth may not be ideal for most businesses, of course, but in the 2013 PC market, holding your ground is something of a miraculous triumph.
Reuters is reporting that Lenovo (LNVGY), the Chinese electronics giant, is in talks to acquire NEC’s mobile phone unit. Lenovo has been speculated to be in talks with both Nokia (NOK) and BlackBerry (BBRY) over the past two years. Various brokerages have claimed that it is negotiating to buy Nokia’s feature phone unit, Nokia’s Lumia phone unit or BlackBerry’s hardware operations. If Lenovo ends up buying the NEC handset operations, it would acquire a technologically highly sophisticated operation with a minuscule annual production volume of roughly 4 million units. More →
Earlier this year, Lenovo (LNVGY) CFO Wong Wai Ming casually mentioned a potential buyout of BlackBerry as a way to boost the company’s mobile business. The executive explained that Lenovo had been in talks with the struggling phone maker and its bankers “about various combinations or strategic ventures,” and that Lenovo even had “a team working on possible acquisitions.” Ming’s comments spread across the Web and within days the company was forced to clarify that Wong was merely speaking broadly on the subject. Even before the comments, however, analysts and Wall Street investors believed Lenovo could be a good suitor for BlackBerry (BBRY). This time around when speaking about a potential acquisition, Lenovo’s chief executive made sure to choose his words wisely. More →
Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming made comments last week that the company might consider an acquisition of struggling BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) in an effort to bolster its mobile business. According to a statement released to The Next Web on Monday, however, Lenovo is not actually considering a bid for RIM. Lenovo says Wong was just “speaking broadly” while fielding questions from a reporter. “Lenovo is very focused on growing its business, both organically and through M&A,” a company spokesperson said. “When inorganic ideas arise, we explore them to see if there is a strategic fit.” Lenovo’s full statement follows below. More →
Lenovo (0992) may be the world’s second-largest PC vendor, but it knows that it desperately needs to step up its game in the mobile world to stay relevant. Bloomberg reports that Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday that his company is looking at a variety of options to boost its mobile game, including buying BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIMM). More →
Breaking news: the PC industry isn’t doing very well. Unnamed sources have told Digitimes that HP (HPQ) and Lenovo (0992), which happen to be the PC industry’s two largest vendors, “are expected to see their notebook shipments drop about 20% sequentially in the first quarter of 2013, higher than an average 10% decline anticipated for the industry.” Overall, Digitimes‘ sources say that HP will ship around 6.5 million notebooks on the quarter, a significant drop from the 8 million notebooks shipped in the previous quarter, while Lenovo will see its shipments fall to around 5.2 million units this quarter from over 6.5 million in the previous quarter. But all is not doom and gloom for the industry this year: Digitimes‘ sources also said that “demand for notebooks in the end market is expected to return to normal in March before staging a substantial pick-up in April.”
AT&T (T) on Friday announced the addition of the Lenovo (LNVGY) IdeaTab A2107 to its line of tablet PCs. The 7-inch slate is equipped with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 3G connectivity and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The IdeaTab A2107 also includes a 3-megapixel rear camera, a microSD slot, a front-facing camera and a 3550 mAh battery. The tablet’s display isn’t nearly as good as the competition, however, sporting a mere 1024 x 600 resolution with a pixel density of 170 pixels per inch, falling short of Google’s (GOOG) similarly priced Nexus 7. More →
Forget the battle between 7-inch and 10-inch tablets — Lenovo’s (0992) got something much bigger in mind. Per AllThingsD, Lenovo will show off its 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, a gigantic full HD multi-touch display that runs Windows 8 and features a third-generation Core i7 processor with NVIDIA GeForce graphics. The beast weighs in at 17 pounds, so it’s not exactly something you can carry with you to your local coffee shop, but if you want to convert your living room table into a massive computer, Lenovo’s table tablet is one of the only games in town. The price could be prohibitive to mass consumer adoption, however, as AllThingsD says the new computer will sell for around $1,700 when it ships this summer.
With a variety of smaller Android tablets already available, along with the iPad mini and the possibility of an Xbox Surface, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the 7-inch tablet. In fact, worldwide sales of 7-inch tablets are expected to double from 34 million units in 2012 to 67 million in 2013. Smaller tablets already account for 28% of all projected tablet sales in 2012 and are on pace to increase to 33% by 2013. Despite these numbers, however, the world’s largest PC vendor isn’t worried. Lenovo (0992), which also offers a variety of 7-inch devices, expects the growing 7-inch tablet market to compete with large-screen smartphones, rather than PCs. The Chinese company knows a thing or two about the PC market, while sales within the industry as a whole have declined, Lenovo has managed to consistently grow and continues to post impressive financial results. More →