Lenovo Looking Good So Far, But Caution Remains - InformationWeek

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Lenovo Looking Good So Far, But Caution Remains

Market watchers are trying to determine whether the Chinese manufacturer can make IBM’s former PC unit profitable without compromising quality.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Second quarter sales at Lenovo, China’s largest PC maker, should be better than expected because of strong demand from Chinese consumers, yet it’s still too early to tell whether Lenovo’s merger with IBM is a success story, according to Deutsche Bank Securities.

“We believe the integration with IBM within China has gone well so far. However, it's too early to give the merger a thumbs up,” said William Bao Bean, a China technology analyst at Deutsche Bank.

China market watchers are closely following the Lenovo-IBM deal, keen to determine whether the Chinese manufacturer can make IBM’s former PC unit profitable without compromising the quality it’s widely known for, especially among enterprise customers willing to pay higher prices for the reliability of IBM popular ThinkPad series of notebook PCs.

Deutsche, citing market researchers IDC and Gartner, said Lenovo gained 30 basis points of market share in the U.S. during the last quarter, but was down 8 percent year on year in a market that gained about 12 percent. Overall, Lenovo’s PC shipments were 3.53 million, up 14.6 percent quarter on quarter and 7.7 percent year on year, according to IDC.

Deutsche said the gains came from the hyper-competitive consumer-oriented PCs in China, which “means the upside does not all fall to the bottom line,” Bean said.

“Without any numbers or guidance, following the integration path has become a question of anecdotes. Our belief is that it is still too early to judge the success or failure of the merger,” he added.

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