Lenovo topped global PC shipments in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 with a market share of 22.5 per cent, despite recording a decline of 4.6 per cent from the first quarter of 2018, said a report by Gartner Inc. on Thursday.
Lenovo remained in the top spot in Q1 2019 with the largest year-on-year (YoY) growth among the top vendors. The company benefitted from the inclusion of Fujitsu’s shipments from its 2018 joint venture.
Its shipments increased in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Japan, where Fujitsu had a larger presence.
“We saw the start of a rebound in PC shipments in mid-2018, but anticipation of a disruption by CPU shortages impacted all PC markets as vendors allocated to the higher-margin business and Chromebook segment,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner.
Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell were the top three vendors with 61.5 per cent of global PC shipments in Q1 2019 against 56.9 per cent shipments in Q1 2018. All three continued to gain share in the PC market as scale became a bigger factor in the industry dynamics.
“While the consumer market remained weak, product availability may have also hindered demand. In contrast, Chromebook shipments increased by double digits compared with Q1 2018, despite the shortage of entry-level CPUs. Including Chromebook shipments, the total worldwide PC market decline would have been 3.5 per cent in Q1 2019,” said Kitagawa.
Meanwhile, HP Inc.’s worldwide PC shipments increased 0.8 per cent in Q1 2019 against the same period last year.
Chinese tech major Lenovo, the worlds top personal computer maker, is focusing on bringing voice capability to its PCs, and will be shipping its first 5G personal computer early next year, said a top company official.
“Lenovo just announced the first 5G PC, and that’s going to be shipping early next year. We haven’t finalised the exact mode, and the naming will come out in near time,” said Dilip Bhatia, Vice President, Global Marketing, User & Customer Experience, PC & Smart Devices, Lenovo.
Lenovo and Qualcomm had unveiled the world’s first 5G PC called Project Limitless in May this year.
“We are bringing 5G capability to PCs and also voice capability. Today you can say ‘Hey Google’ and start writing messages (on smartphones), so we want to bring the same capability to your PC. We are enabling it for voice capability with Alexa,” Bhatia told IANS on the sidelines of the IFA 2019 here where Lenovo unveiled a range of its sleek laptops and tablets, among other products.
With users wanting more smartphone-like capability in their laptops, Lenovo has focused a big way on that in its new range of Yoga laptops and Thinkbooks.
Referring to Lenovo’s new Modern Standby mode for its laptops where even during sleep the PC can download emails, Bhatia said: “Today I don’t have to download emails on the PC, it automatically shows up all the time. We have the Modern Standby capability, Always On-Always Connected… People are looking to save time, so If I can turn on the PC and it turns on immediately without me having to type out the password, that saves time.”
On Lenovo using voice technology for its laptops and tablets, Bhatia said: “We’re very bullish on voice. Voice technology like Alexa, Cortana and Siri are getting better and better over time. We feel just like people have Alexa devices and Google devices at home, why can’t they have the same experience with the PC. So that’s why we’ve tried to integrate Alexa with the PC, so even if it’s on sleep mode, and I say ‘Hey Alexa what’s the weather?’, it will report back to me.”
The Lenovo Smart Display devices that have Google interface can be programmed to recognise every family member’s voice.
“We are truly believers in voice and feel voice will be much more mainstream down the road,” Bhatia said.
Asked if Lenovo would be focusing on different languages, including Indian languages, he said that initially the new voice products would be in English and German.
“Initially, the new products I believe will be in English and German. But over time, as we’re really leveraging Amazon’s Alexa capability as they have more languages rolled out, more languages are certainly an option,” he said.
Bhatia, who focuses on customer experience, said there are numerous ways in which Lenovo ensures that users get a “great experience for their products”.
“At Lenovo, we don’t want a one-time transaction, but build loyalty so that customers keep coming back and buy our products. We create loyalty by listening really well to our customers,” he said.
Lenovo has created a special panel of 3,000 consumers, with members from across the world, including India. These consumers, “who kind of are expert of PCs and know what is a good PC”, are reached by Lenovo’s product managers for feedback on the new products and features.
Bhatia’s team also runs a Big Data analytics programme, as part of which they “basically scrape 20 million comments from the Internet” including from Amazon and Flipkart.
“We are using Big Data analytics to understand what people like and what they don’t about a product. This is another way by which we are getting the pulse of the Indian customer,” he added.
Lenovo also has customer advisory councils, and conducts surveys of its customers for feedback.
“These are some of the few ways in which we listen to the voice of the Indian consumer to help improve our products and provide a better experience. I believe putting the customer at the forefront globally has paid off dividends in our market share,” Bhatia said.
“Globally, we had 24.9 per cent market share last quarter; so one in four PCs was a Lenovo. And that comes from relentless focus on listening to the customers,” he added. (IANS)