PC market still has life

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Berlin, 06 Sept 2019

Global technology company Lenovo believes the PC still has a long way to go because there are many technologies that can be added to enhance these personal devices.

This is the sentiment shared by Francois Bornibus, senior VP and president of Lenovo for the EMEA region, briefing media ahead of IFA 2019, which kicks off today in Berlin.

Lenovo is confident there is still plenty to be done on PCs, he stated. “Foldable screens on PCs will change the way we use PCs, 5G will completely change the way we are using PCs and there are many more things we can do with PCs.”

The Lenovo exec reiterated the company is working on the “world’s first foldable PC”, adding the shipment date will be announced in due course.

“We are presenting different types of products…what we can do is use technology that exists in one product for another product. For example, we are talking about foldable phones – when we have such capability on phones, we can also do the same for PCs.

“5G is a phone thing, but we are also looking at bringing 5G onto PCs. This is because if we have the technology existing in one of the businesses, then it can be added to another part of the business.” 

Much like previous years, IFA 2019 will see hardware manufacturers introduce new smartphones, smart appliances and other devices to the market during Europe's largest consumer tech fair. 

According to Bornibus, Lenovo’s PC business is very wide, comprising PCs, tablets, desktops, notebooks, augmented and virtual reality devices, workstations and Internet of things products.

Based on Gartner’s Q2 2019 preliminary PC shipment results, Lenovo continues to be the top PC brand, as its market share grew by 25% in the second quarter of 2019.

Bornibus explained: “Overall, the market is not that strong. The PC market is flat and declining, the mobile phone market is now slightly growing, and the server [market] is going down. The market itself is not very strong, but Lenovo’s revenue is growing at a 5% year-on-year basis. 

“In terms of market share on the PC side, we are number one at a worldwide level, reaching the highest market share with 24.9%. Our profitability for the PC business has been at 5.4%.”

International business

As a company with Chinese origins, Lenovo has, over the last five years, split from just being 50% of business in China and the other 50% outside China.

Now, the Lenovo business is organised according to four geographies: China, Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas. The revenue is also split accordingly, at 25% from each region, revealed Bornibus.    

In terms of equity, 68% of Lenovo is public, 10% is owned by employees, and the rest is held by Legend Holdings, the mother company of Lenovo.

Responding to a question as to whether Lenovo has felt the effects of the US-China trade war, he indicated his company is not affected by what is happening between the two economies.

“Of course, we may be as affected as the others in different places in the world. The tariff in the US is affecting everybody – everybody will play the same game with higher tariffs. So, we will have the same rules as our competitors.

“We have not felt specific impact but in terms of world market impact, we are just like the other companies,” he concluded.