Tag: lenovo

Tablets could be the next big channel package

tabletBeancounters at IDC seem to think that the channel could make big money flogging tablets to corporates.

While tablet sales in the consumer market are deader than Steve Jobs, corporates can find a use for the bigger models.

IDC predicted that because of the mobility attractions of the hardware tablets will be a key investment for  firms undergoing digital transformation next year.

Premium devices drove tablet growth in the third quarter, with IDC recording a 13.1 percent increase year-on-year in the commercial sector. Overall there were 8.2 million tablets shipped in Western Europe in Q3, which represented a 6.7 percent decline on the same period last year.

Although volumes are dropping the unit value has held firm, which has offset the impact of the declines, as more customers pay for higher quality products. The share of detachables in Western Europe priced above €600 increased from 26.5 percent in 3Q15 to 52.2 percent a year later.

Daniel Goncalves, research analyst, IDC Western European personal computing, said that detachables are proving to be particularly attractive to firms, particularly those with the performance and security to meet enterprise standards, are continuously gaining traction and this is boosting demand for premium devices.

“Surface Pro and iPad Pro success comes from them being a notebook replacement, as well as the quality of the devices. The devices are increasingly adopted across consumer and commercial segments, and while in the consumer segment both appeal to the ‘prosumer’ user, in commercial the adoption varies depending on the activities of the end user. iPad Pro is more popular for creative types of jobs, whereas Surface is more likely to be adopted by top executives, partly due to Windows’ strong legacy in enterprise.”

Apple, Samsung and Lenovo dominate the market but Amazon has seen its unit growth increase year on year by 166.5 per cent thanks to the very competitive pricing of its Kindle tablet range.

Dell becomes the king of the servers

Michael DellNew numbers from the Gartner Group show that Dell has beaten HPE to the top spot for server shipments.

To be fair, though, the market shrank and worldwide server revenue is down 0.8 percent.  Shipments are up by two percent which means that there is some pretty nasty price cutting going on.

Everywhere except for Asia/Pacific and North America is in decline, though shipments in those areas grew by 5.6 percent and three percent respectively.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said: “Dell garnered 19.3 per cent of the market and moved into the No. 1 position in worldwide server shipments due primarily to growth resulting from programmes it has in place in the Asia/Pacific region, most notably in China. However, HPE continued to lead the x86 market in revenue with 26 per cent of the market.”

He added: “x86 servers grew 2.1 percent in shipments and 5.8 percent in revenue in the second quarter of 2016.”

Dell’s strong performance did not see its revenues match the growth. HPE continues to hold more of the market share in revenue though that contracted by 6.4 percent year-on-year, while Dell saw almost 10 percent growth.

IBM’s server revenues dropped by 34.4 percent but then it did flog its business to Lenovo.

HPE’s shipments also contracted year-on-year, shrinking by more than 18 percent, while Dell, Lenovo, Huawei, Inspur and others pulled up their socks.

Flextronics helps Lenovo build euro servers

lenovo2Flextronics is to build up to a quarter of a million x86 servers in Hungary as Lenovo sets up its European operations.

Lenovo says the move will halve delivery times for European customers and partners. The servers for EMEA clients were previously built in Shenzhen in China will now be shifted to Sarvar in Hungary, from the summer.

Lenovo expects the Hungarian plant to assemble EMEA’s full allocation of up to 250,000 x86 servers annually once production is fully ramped up.

Assembly of Lenovo’s full range of storage and networking for datacentre environments will also now be carried out at the plant, which already produces Lenovo PCs and ThinkServers.

The move will boost service levels for clients, with delivery times being cut from two weeks to one, as well as saving on transportation costs. Until relatively recently, IBM built some of those servers in eastern Europe, meaning Lenovo is bringing production back to Europe. Mostly due to transport and logistical considerations.

Within a year, almost all of the approximately 250,000 x86 servers Lenovo builds for the EMEA market will be made in the Hungarian plant.  This will allow UK partners more flexibility in how they manage inventory and will also improve the after-sale service they can offer.

 

A video thunderbolt hits Asus partners mispronouncing its name

zeus-personality-traits_55ac40ddd60b6667Taiwanese vendor Asus has released a video because it has had enough of its partners mispronouncing its name.

Most of them default to the classic “eh-sus” when it should be the more mythological pronunciation ‘Ay-Zeus.’

In a post on Linked In linking to the video, AZEUS’s UK marketing director John Swatton said he had “lost count” of how many people have asked him how to pronounce its brand over the past year.

This is despite Taiwan-based ASUS now being EMEA’s third-largest PC manufacturer, behind only HP and Lenovo, but people never get the pronunciation right.

“So our designers created a video using a radio ad that we ran last year. Hopefully the next time I’m cold-called, the caller might pronounce our brand correctly,” Swatton said.

“Originally named after Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, but now sounds like Zeus, the God of storms and thunder,” the video says.  Maybe they should have spelt it with a Z in the first place. Zeus might not be that impressed either, which is why our last Asus developed a sudden electrical fault which caused it to be packed off to Hades early.

Lenovo loses cloudy focus

lenovo2While everyone else wants focus on the cloud game, Lenovo has shut down its dedicated cloud division and spread out its work through various other parts of the Group.

The vendor’s Ecosystem and Cloud Services (ECS) business are being disbanded and cloud services will now be moved into the relevant product division. Lenovo claims to have made because it believes it “must continue to differentiate through a ‘device and cloud’ strategy”.

Replacing the ECS division is a Capital and Incubator Group which has been created to develop new, innovative technologies through Lenovo spinoffs or investments in standalone startups, while continuing to develop Lenovo’s overall cloud and big data platform”. George He has been named as the new unit’s head.

Lenovo’s PC Group will be re-named the PC & Smart Device Business Group. In addition to PCs, tablets, and two-in-ones, the unit will also encompass phablets, gaming products and smart-home wares. Gianfranco Lanci will be in charge of this group.

The vendor’s Enterprise Business is to be renamed the Data Centre Group (DCG), which will operate “as an end-to-end business within Lenovo”. The business will be run by Gerry Smith.

According to Lenovo all these changes will make the DCG a nimble and disruptive competitor, accelerating its open, partnership-focused approach with traditional, hyperscale and hyper converged customers.

Lenvo’s Mobile Business Group will reshuffle its management deck. Lenovo north America head Aymar de Lencquesaing teaming up with Xudong Chen, a veteran of the company’s Chinese business, to serve as co-presidents. Meanwhile, former Motorola president Rick Osterloh is leaving.

Yang Yuanqinq said: “In the last year, Lenovo has delivered solid results, the fast integration of Motorola and System x businesses, and a series of innovative product launches across our portfolio. Now we must further accelerate our transformation into a customer-centric company. The changes announced today will build on our successes, rapidly deliver this transformation and ultimately drive Lenovo into a new phase of growth.”

 

Razer teams up with Lenovo

Lenovo_Y_Series_Razer_Edition_Gaming_Desktop_Prototype_2.0.0It what appears to be a key partnership, Chinese maker of the Thinkpad, Lenovo, is tying the knot with gaming outfit Razer.

The pair told the DreamHack Winter 2015 conference in Sweden, that first product from the partnership will be the Razer Edition of the Lenovo Y Series gaming desktop. Images show a Y series tower case sporting Razer’s green glow, along with its ‘Chroma’ lighting at the base.

It is not clear which channel is going to be used to get the gaming gear out to the great unwashed as both have fairly strong European distributions.

Traditional PC makers are starting to see value in gaming compueters which seem to have ignored the drift toward doom that other PC hardware has seen.

Lenovo, which is the top seller of PCs,  first unveiled its Y Series at the IFA trade show in September this year.

It’s unclear exactly what technologies Razer will bring to the partnership. According to a press statement Lenovo said that Razer would “enhance the immersive experience for gamers.”

The gaming PC outfit has proprietary software products designed around in-game chat, gaming audio and a cloud service for game settings, all of which may prove to be of high interest to Lenovo.

There are two Y series desktops currently offered by Lenovo, the Y700 and Y900, as well as six gaming laptops and some accessories.

The first of the Razer Edition series will be launched at CES 2016 in January, with “multiple new designs and products” coming from the partners in the near future.

 

Lenovo faces a channel grilling

lenovo2This afternoon, two senior Lenovo European executives faced questions from the channel audience here at the Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona. Gianfranco Lanci and Eric Cador, both big suits in the European market were put through their paces.

Lenovo’s Lanci said the acquisition of Intel servers has gone quite well.”I think it’s maybe another quarter but it’s nearly done.” Lenovo has started making money.

He said the PC market is not going to decline but it’s not going to hit double digit growth. He said the economical situation meant sales were suffering in the emerging market.

Lanci said Windows 10, in terms of performance isn’t comparable to Windows 8 or Vista. It will help the market to recover “a bit”. A number of commercial customers are considering moves to Windows 10 in 2016.

Lenovo is working on converging storage and computing but Lanci declined to comment on whether it would buy into the storage business.

He said consolidation in the PC area is inevitable and the smaller players will disappear. He’s prepared to play a waiting game and thinks that in two years time there will only be four or five PC companies.

Lenovo thinks it’s special because it’s got PCs, phablets, phones, tablets and enterprise products.

Lenovo doesn’t understand why Microsoft has launched a new Surface. Microsoft is both a partner and a competitor. Microsoft asked Lenovo a year ago if it would resell its products and said no.

Lenovo thinks Android will continue to take share. Lenovo ships more Android than Wintel products by a factor of two.

Asked why many Lenovo products were cheaper in retail than through distribution, Lenovo said most of the products sold in retail were different from machines pushed through the channel. Lenovo has to deal with multiple channels.

Lenovo said that when it bought the IBM server business it thought there was room to grow. There’s room for it to take business from HP. It has a great opportunity in Europe and the USA.

Channel complaints about overstock at distribution leading to big cash problems don’t seem to be a problem, according to Lenovo’s Lanci. When there’s overstock it’s usually Lenovo which pays the bill and isn’t paying the bill on overstocking. Lenovo has invested money to solve the problem.

Lenovo will concentrate on going the commercial or enterprise channels. It believes the integration of IBM System x channel partners went pretty well. Lenovo needs value added channel partners and needs to grow volume too. W0

Disties lose their rag with Lenovo

lenovo_hqThere’s a dynamic in the channel between vendors, distributors and what we used to call dealers but are now forced to call resellers for politically correct reasons.

The basis of that dynamic is the cold fact that they all hate each other. The vendors hate the disties, the disties hate the vendors, the dealers hate the disties and the vendors, the disties hate the dealers. The consumers just, hopefully, buy stuff.

So here at the Canalys Channel Forum (CCF) we were pleased to observe quite a degree of upset at Lenovo for, in the 1990s jargon, “stuffing the channel”.

What that means is several distributors I have talked to here have clearly indicated that they have piles of Lenovo products in their warehouses that not only aren’t selling that well but continue to be delivered to their distributors, willy-nilly.

These sources from various distributors decline to be named, for obvious reasons, but have clearly indicated that they suspect the same thing is going to happen on the X86 server front too.

Lenovo could not be contacted at press time because it’s 05:42 in the morning here in Barcelona and we’re just waiting for breakfast to start.

We’re sure we’ll have our share of nibbles later in the day.

Lenovo to merge server brands

lenovo2Lenovo is planning to merge its two server brands into one and use the unified brand to release products in 2017.

The outfit has just written a cheque for IBM’s server division and is already developing new products for 2017

Lenovo’s Taipei server R&D Centeoduct marketing director, Andrew Huang told Digitimes  that  y, Lenovo has two product brands under its server business, ThinkServer and System X, and Lenovo is no longer using the IBM name to sell System X servers.

The outfit’s share in worldwide server market rose to seven percent in the second quarter of 2015 to become the fourth largest vendor. It has recently landed orders from Alibaba for 50,000 servers.

The move has been expected, but it is surprising that Lenovo kept its own product name rather than the Biggish Blue equivalent.

Mixing IBM and Lenovo is proving tricky

mixing-doughLenovo’s chief operating officer said that folding IBM’s System x practice into his company has been tricky.

Gerry Smith, COO and executive vice president of Lenovo’s PC and Enterprise Business Group, said it was taking a lot to retrain the IBM suits in a culture which was a little faster and less stodgy.

Smith told 300 attendees of the 2015 Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) Summit in San Francisco there had been supply chain challenges and integration issues Lenovo since its purchase of IBM’s $2.1 billion x86 server business.

Lenovo has been focused on making the IBM server acquisitions mainstream brands where channel partners of all shapes and sizes feel like they can come in, win deals and make money.

“It’s about speed to market, and it’s about the volume of our go-to-market,” Smith said. “It’s not just about having cool-looking, high-performance servers.”

Smith said that integrating IBM’s x86 workforce, and employees from Motorola’s $5 billion smartphone practice, was the single biggest challenge the Beijing-based vendor is facing today.

Redmond wants a Blackberry slice

blackberry tartThe dark satanic rumour mill is churning out a hell on earth yarns claiming that Microsoft is close to buying up a slice of the canadian telecommunications company BlackBerry.

A few other tech companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei are also amongst those interested in buying the outfit but Microsoft has been wining and dining a few investment firms to assess their chances of taking over BlackBerry.

Its plan is to upgrade its intensity in the business mobile solution segment and its patent portfolio in the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), as well as mobile platform and communications sectors.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturers are mainly intended to invest in BlackBerry so that they can improve their brand visibility across US and European business sectors.

So far it is all rumour and speculation but BlackBerry has frequently been tipped to be ready for buying out before and it has never happened.  However sources in the Redmond lair have admitted that the stuffed head of Blackberry would look nice on its CEO’s wall.

BlackBerry said recently that it will  lay off number of employments across the globe and will merge its device software, hardware and applications business. It also indicated that it was “changing assets to profit” by development opportunities and accomplish benefit over all regions of business.

So far that involves scaling down its mobile phone division, which might mean Microsoft  will have to move fast if it there is going to be anything left of Blackberry.

Motorola could not kill patent troll with fire

trollMotorola has been told by a US jury that it used an idea in a patent troll’s portfolio without permission.

Intellectual Ventures’ claimed that it invented multimedia text messaging, something that Motorola said it came up with.

The jury, which deliberated for about a day and a half, cleared Motorola on a second patent related to wireless bandwidth, which it said was invalid. Damages are to be determined later.

It was the second time the two companies faced off in court. The first round, in February 2014, ended in a mistrial after jurors could not agree on a verdict.

Another trial between the two, involving a single Intellectual Ventures patent related to detachable computer devices, is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Lenovo bought the Motorola handset division from Google in October.

Intellectual Ventures is one of the largest intellectual property owners in the world, with more than 70,000 patents and patent applications to its name. It only recently began suing companies in addition to its longtime strategy of licensing its wide array of patents.

It sued Motorola in 2011, alleging that several of Motorola’s mobile devices infringed its patents.

Intellectual Ventures insists that unlike some of the firms denounced as “patent trolls” it does not file frivolous lawsuits. Apparently the definition of a troll is now that the cases have to be frivolous, we thought that they had to be made by people who did not invent anything and were filed purely to make a company wealthy.

In February, Intellectual Ventures won a $17 million patent verdict against security software maker Symantec strengthening its track record in court.

Samsung to regain smartphone lead

samsung-hqA research company believes that Samsung will be the number one smartphone vendor in 2015, taking the lead over Apple.

Digitimes Research (DR) said the top 10 vendors this year will be Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi, Microsoft, TC, Coolpad and Oppo.

HTC, which only a few years ago was top of the smartphone pops, doesn’t appear to get a lookin at all. Last week, Cher Wang, chairman of HTC, took on the CEO duties too, displacing former CEO Peter Chou to head up a new products division at the Taiwanese firm.

DR estimates that Samsung will ship over 330 million units and Apple will manage to ship 230 million.

But Lenovo appears to be edging upwards in the smartphone league. This year it will ship 64 million units, while LG will ship 67 million units, just ahead of Huawei.

DR estimates that Android phones supplied by the top 10 Android smartphone vendors willl represent over 70 percent of the total units shipped this year.

 

Lenovo wants more from Smartwatch craze

fobwatchWhile most people think that the smartwatch thing is doomed in the long term, no one seems to have told the manufacturers.

Lenovo is the latest to leak the design of its  upcoming smartwatch indicating that if there is money to be made in the kit, it wants more than anyone else.

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing posted an image to Weibo, which shows a number of smartwatches in various states of assembly.

The image shows the new Moto 360 appears to adopt a traditional, exposed-lug design, which should make it easier for users to swap out the band that comes with the Moto 360 for a wider variety of third-party gear.

The current Moto 360 has a lug design which integrates into the bottom of the casing. Even though the Moto Maker gives customers a variety of bands to choose from, this seems to mean that Lenovo things that there is cash to be made by individualising the watches. Perhaps even starting a collection fad.

It also appears that the “flat tire” display found on the original Moto 360 will carry over to its successor. The Moto 360 currently houses its ambient light sensor and display driver in the crescent-shaped cutout at the bottom of the display, and it has been perhaps the most criticized design aspect of the smartwatch.

LG G Watch R, LG Watch Urbane, and Huawei Watch have ditched the ambient light sensor and adopting a slightly larger bezel to accommodate the display driver.

What was seen in the snaps are just prototypes and anything could change between now and an official unveil, but it’s at least good to see that Motorola pressing ahead as the best-selling Android Wear OEM on the market.

 

Microsoft gives the Chinese free Windows 10

eclipse-chinaSoftware king of the world Microsoft has decided that the best way to stop the Chinese pirating its Windows 10 operating system is to give it to them.

Microsoft has decided to push into the heavily pirated Chinese consumer computing market this summer by offering free upgrades to Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies of the software.

The big idea is to get legitimate versions of VoleWare onto machines of the hundreds of millions of Windows users in China. Recent studies show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly licensed there.

Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft’s operating systems unit, announced the plan at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China.

Microsoft will upgrade all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.

Windows 10 would be released globally sometime “this summer”. That is the first time Microsoft has put a time frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn.

Microsoft said in January it would offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for users of Windows 7 or later in an attempt to hold onto users and make up for lost revenue by selling services such as Office over the Internet.

Microsoft is working with Lenovo to roll out Windows 10 in China to current Windows users, Myerson said.

It also is offering Windows 10 through security company Qihoo 360 Technology and Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social networking company, which will build a Windows 10 app that will work on smartphones and PCs for its popular QQ gaming and messaging service. QQ has more than 800 million users.

Lenovo said in a statement that it will make phones running Windows software, available through China Mobile, sometime later this year.