How Lenovo Sees the PC Market's Future
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's PC business may be a time for the folks at Lenovo and its channel partners to reflect on how far they've come, but perhaps more significantly, it's also a time to look ahead.
Arguably, thanks to the rise of the tablet, the PC industry is going through more transformation today than any time in the last 10 years. Lenovo, with a 20 percent global market share of the business, obviously now exercises a lot of influence where the PC industry is heading next.
When Lenovo acquired IBM's PC business, it ranked third, with a 5.7 percent market share. Since then, Lenovo has taken the lead in global PC market share, and its worldwide PC revenue has doubled to about $25 billion. In addition, early this year, Lenovo celebrated the shipment of the 100 millionth ThinkPad.
The PC experience these days is as much about software and the cloud as it is the hardware, said Peter Hortensius, Lenovo senior vice president, CTO and head of research and technology.
For example, the cloud has clearly emerged as a vehicle through which end users can unify the use of PCs, tablets and smartphones. At the same time, via the Lenovo SHAREit application, users can unify experiences across all their devices locally without ever having to go to the cloud, Hortensius said. While the devices being used enable that collaboration, the 70 to 80 million active users of SHAREit show that collaboration is hardly limited to the cloud, he added.
Going forward, there will naturally be more blurring of the lines between devices as the PC continues to change its stripes to keep pace with the changing needs of the times, Hortensius said, noting that it's already hard to tell whether the Lenovo Yoga 3 device is a PC or a tablet.
There will always be some kind of device for both consuming and creating content. What has changed is that the definition of personal computing has been expanded to include the device, the cloud and everything in between.
Hortensius is the first to admit there have been a lot of ups and downs over the last 10 years, but he believes there is still a lot more innovation to come.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.