Lenovo gunning for UK consumers despite late market entry

Lenovo expects to grab 5% of the consumer market in the UK by year-end after finally launching into the sector with DSGi in the summer.

Lenovo expects to grab 5% of the consumer market in the UK by year-end after finally launching into the sector with DSGi in the summer.

The firm's absence from the retail space - which accounts for roughly one third of total PC sales in the UK - has prevented it from breaking into the top five biggest selling PC vendors in the territory.

Neil Berville, Lenovo executive director for the UK, Ireland and Benelux, told MicroScope that following three quarters of profitable growth, the "fortunes of the company have turned around" and it was time to diversify.

"Part of the strategy from the beginning was that there was a piece of business we attack and a piece of business we protect, last year the only attack was in the emerging markets but we are now targeting consumer business in the UK."

The first ever Lenovo consumer products have landed on the shelves at PC World - the All-In-One 305 series desktop - and a G-series notebook line will be sold in Argos.

"We need to have the first breakthrough, to get to 5% market share which we are confident we'll do this year and next year we'll grow it from there," said Berville.

"We don't have a universal consumer brand and the cost of creating one is prohibitive so we are supporting retailers where they'll give us time and dedicated space to promote the brand at the point of sale," he added.

In the second quarter, Lenovo shipped 25,000 units to UK consumers according to IDC, placing it ninth with a market share of 1.5%.

Eszter Morvay, research manager at IDC, said in the quarter Lenovo would have needed to ship four times as many PCs to achieve the targets it had set.

"In the competitive UK market it is possible [to take 5% market share] but it will be very challenging," she said.

According to Gartner data for Q2, Lenovo sold 20,000 units into the UK retail channel which research director Ranjit Atwal described as "peanuts" but added, "They are at least on the playing field now".

"It will be a challenge for Lenovo, most vendors found their way into the market through competitive pricing and that is not one of Lenovo's strong points," he said.



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