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Lenovo Eyes Big Picture as Apple Tops China Sales

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Lenovo has held the record for the fastest-growing PC company in the world for a seventh straight quarter. (Photo: Jayesh Nair)
Lenovo has held the record for the fastest-growing PC company in the world for a seventh straight quarter. (Photo: Jayesh Nair)


  • Apple’s greater China sales surpass Lenovo’s for first time in Q2 of 2011
  • Lenovo dismisses sales comparisons, saying it is focused on global PC industry
  • Lenovo controls 31.7% of Chinese PC market

Lenovo has said it remains focused on the global PC market, despite being overtaken by Apple as the number one technology maker in greater China for the first time.

Rising demand for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computer saw Apple sales across China, Hong Kong and Taiwan jump to $3.8 billion in the second quarter of 2011, six times higher than the same period last year.

Industry analysts say that even if mainland sales figures were combined with those from Hong and Taiwan, Lenovo would still fall well short of Apple by some margin.

But Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo chief executive, said comparing the Q2 results was not an “apples to apples” calculation and not a real indication of the two companies’ position in the region. “If you compare the PC business we still have a lead far ahead of any of our competitors,” Yang told the Financial Times. “[Apple’s] calculation includes the phone business but Lenovo’s main focus is in PCs. Our phone business isn’t that strong even in China.

Lenovo remains the leader of the PC market in mainland China with sales rising 23.4% to $2.8 billion in Q2. This also saw the company maintain its record as the fastest-growing PC company in the world for a seventh straight quarter.

The company’s mainland China market share also increased 2.3% to 31.7%, according to Yang.

Outgrowing The market

Lenovo is the world’s third-largest computer maker in terms of shipment volume and has been the largest in China for eleven consecutive years. The Chinese company increased its share all across the world last quarter, which saw it overtake Acer to claim the number three spot in global market share, according to consultants IDC.

Yang says that this is the priority for Lenovo. “Our aspiration is to gain market share and to continue to outgrow the market. We want to become the leader in this industry and I believe that is definitely achievable,” he said.

Across the Pacific, Lenovo’s North American shipments jumped almost 31% compared to Q2 last year, while the rest of the market saw a 4% slump.

The company suffered a $9 million loss in the US in 2010, but now the region looks like it will be a major contributor in helping Lenovo realize its designs on global market control. In a statement on Thursday, Lenovo vice-president, Chen Xudong said the company plans to open 1,200 new retail outlets throughout China’s 20,000 counties and rural areas in order to reinforce its number one position in its home market, the biggest PC market in the world.

Key Statistics – China PC Market (source: IDC)

  • In Q2 of 2011, China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest PC market.
  • Around 18.5 millions units worth around $12 billion were shipped in China, compared to 17.7 million units at $11.7 billion in the US.
  • China accounted for 22% of shipped PC units throughout the world in Q2, compared to 21% for the US.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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