Lenovo Unveils X1 Carbon Ultrabook on Thinkpad's 20th Anniversary
By Mark Long / Mobile Tech Today. Updated August 06, 2012.
Lenovo took the wraps off a new 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook at a news conference in Beijing Monday, the 20th anniversary of the original ThinkPad's debut at IBM's computer division. Lenovo acquired the division in 2005.
The new Ultrabook X1 Carbon, which weighs just under 3 pounds, sports a carbon-fiber chassis that is one-third the weight of aluminum yet twice as strong, said Dilip Bhatia, Lenovo vice president and general manager of its ThinkPad business unit.
The thinnest ThinkPad ever developed, which will integrate 3G connectivity with Intel's Ivy Bridge chip technology for Ultrabooks, will go on sale later this summer. The goal is to offer all the convenience of a tablet while offering the additional capabilities found only in notebooks today.
Lenovo is also aiming to hit the sweet spot with respect to appealing to customers in the enterprise, government and education market segments that require the anytime, anywhere connectivity that 3G provides, Bhatia told reporters.
"They want faster. They want thinner," Bhatia said.
On the Verge of Overtaking HP
Lenovo's continuing success story in the Asia-Pacific market also helps to explain why Lenovo is on the verge of replacing Hewlett-Packard as the world's leading PC vendor. Though growth in the global PC market overall was flat in the second quarter of 2012, industry research firm Gartner said Lenovo's shipment growth continued to exceed the worldwide average.
Even better for Lenovo, the China-based company significantly narrowed the gap in PC market share with HP to a mere 0.2 percent (14.7 percent versus 14.9 percent).
"Lenovo's aggressive expansion damaged its competitors' performance, namely HP and Dell, by taking shares from them," Gartner's analyst noted.
What's more, Lenovo has been very aggressive of late with respect to expanding its PC marketing efforts through a series of acquisitions, as well as aggressive pricing -- moves which are already beginning to pay off in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, or EMEA.
"Lenovo showed significant growth in EMEA though there is growing concern of the inventory build toward the second half of 2012," IDC analysts said.
Home Field Advantage
The choice of Beijing for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's unveiling comes as no surprise given that the Asia-Pacific is the one PC region in which Lenovo reigns supreme. According to IDC, the region accounted for 30.7 million unit shipments in this year's second quarter, versus 23.1 million units in the EMEA region and just 15.9 million unit shipments in the United States.
The Asia-Pacific PC market is expected to "close out the year with positive growth, particularly as vendors continue to target the underpenetrated markets, while sustained public sector IT spending further helps support it," said IDC analyst Avinash Sundaram.
In the Asia-Pacific during this year's second quarter, the company led the field with a 25.1 percent share -- helped by ongoing shipments for a large education notebook project in India, according to IDC. Moreover, Lenovo has been able to pad its market-leading share in the Asia-Pacific by 3.9 percentage points during the past year.
And although Lenovo only attained the fifth slot in EMEA in the second quarter, IDC analysts noted that the company racked up the fastest growth among the region's top five vendors.
Among other things, Lenovo continued to enjoy a sustained sales performance and share gains in EMEA's professional PC segment across the entire region. What's more, the company maintained strong consumer sales throughout Western, Central and Eastern Europe.