Can Dell, HP Learn From Lenovo PC Sales, Earnings?
Amid a Dell earnings miss and mass HP layoffs, rival Lenovo said Q4 profits jumped 59 percent. Plus, Lenovo said its PC shipments jumped 44 percent for the quarter ended March 31. So what is Lenovo doing right in the fiercely competitive, price sensitive PC market? Here are four observations from The VAR Guy.
1. Staying Out of Services: Lenovo has repeatedly stated that it will never, ever buy a big IT services company. That firm statement gives Lenovo channel partners peace of mind, and it makes partners more inclined to push Lenovo’s desktops and laptops. In stark contrast, HP acquired EDS and Dell acquired Perot for services initiatives that may compete with some larger channel partners.
2. Easy to Remember Brands: Lenovo ThinkPad (corporate) and IdeaPad (consumer). Simple, right?
3. Innovating On Windows: Too often, the PC market depends too heavily on R&D from Intel and Microsoft. But Lenovo’s security, boot time optimization and data protection innovations prove PC makers can still innovate in the world of Windows.
4. Incubating (Not Hyping) New Products: Lenovo has been building and promoting a range of consumer-oriented devices in China before rolling those devices out worldwide. So far Lenovo doesn’t have any big tablet hits in North America. But Lenovo has also avoided high-profile setbacks like HP’s WebOS tablet disaster of 2011.
Of course, Lenovo faces its share of challenges. Analysts worry that many of China’s largest cities are reaching PC saturation points. Plus, some analysts have expressed concerns about Lenovo’s margins.
Still, plenty of PC makers would welcome Lenovo’s challenges at the moment. Dell yesterday announced an earnings miss as the company seeks to push far beyond PCs into networking, storage, IT services and cloud computing. HP CEO Meg Whitman, meanwhile, is expected to announce mass HP layoffs later today during an earnings call. The HP layoffs, according to published reports, could involve as many as 30,000 employees. HP has not commented on the alleged layoff plans.