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Lenovo confident of outpacing the PC market

Dubai: Lenovo, the world’s largest computer manufacturer, is confident of widening its market share with the rivals, a top official told Gulf News.

“We are definitely going to see a demand from the commercial PC sales with enterprises transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7,” Dilip Bhatia, vice-president and general manager of ThinkPad business unit at Lenovo, said after unveiling the 14-inch third-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultra-thin laptop and an 8.3-inch Windows 8 tablet in the UAE.

Microsoft is ending the support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.

The key feature of the X1 is the adaptive keyboard which adjusts based on the software or application being used to highlight the most relevant keys. Lenovo has killed the traditional row of function keys and replaced it with a virtual keyboard with can accommodate 40 shortcuts and also integrates voice and gesture controls. It is priced at Dh6,250 and Dh2,000 for the 8.3-inch tablet.

“The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a natural evolution of our PC plus portfolio and a further step in innovation,” Bhatia said.

According to research firms Gartner and International Data Corporation (IDC), the global PC market is expected to be flat to slightly negative this year, and IDC sees a declining market in the UAE.

“The PC business is still a $200 billion market. We still have a room for growth,” Bhatia added.

Last year, the global PC business witnessed a fall of 10 per cent to 314.55 million compared to 349.38 million units in 2012 while the PC market in the UAE is expected to witness a fall of around 12 per cent.

“The UAE market is expected to decline this year also but the ultra-thin laptops and convertibles are expected to gain market share. Lenovo is the fastest growing key PC manufacturer in the UAE,” Fouad R. Charakla, research manager at IDC, told Gulf News.

Lenovo, which earns about 80 per cent of its revenue from computer sales, became the top seller by surpassing HP two years ago. Lenovo acquired IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion in bid to take on giants like Dell and HP in the server business.

The Chinese company also acquired Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.9 billion.

“We are always looking at acquisitions. We will certainly make the move if it makes sense,” Bhatia said when asked about further acquisitions.

Lenovo, which has outpaced the PC market for the last 16 quarters, hope to continue doing that.

“I certainly think that ultra-thin and convertibles laptops are going to drive the market and right now ultra-thin laptops occupy only a 10 per cent of the overall laptop sales. Laptops do not need to be thick and heavy,” he said.

He said the new ultra-thin laptops from other manufacturers will consume less power, faster boot-up time and provide more battery life.