Lenovo launches branded PCs in Ireland


24 Feb 2006

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Lenovo has launched its first branded desktops and laptops in the Irish market since the Chinese company bought IBM’s PC division last year. The 3000 family, available worldwide, is aimed at small businesses with a focus on making the machines value for money, stylish and easy to maintain and service.

The J Series’ J100 launched yesterday is available as an upright tower model or a small form factor version, costing upwards of €499 excluding Vat. First in the C Series notebook range is the C100, with prices starting at €620 excluding Vat.

The range includes tools such as virus recovery, a one-button facility for getting the system back up and running if it has been infected by malware. Connectivity to wired or wireless networks has been made easy and an automatic update feature automatically downloads critical updates to keep the PC performing at its best.

Lenovo’s systems are backed by a support contract from IBM Global Services, part of a five-year deal between the two companies.
According to Fiona O’Brien, country manager for Lenovo in Ireland, the company has been successful in serving the small and medium-sized business sector in its home market of China and this should suit the Irish market which predominantly comprises smaller companies.

Lenovo’s Think range of notebooks and desktops will continue to be manufactured but these are being targeted at the enterprise business market.

Historically, as part of IBM, the PC business was not able to compete aggressively on price with rivals. “That knocked us out of certain market segments,” O’Brien acknowledged. “We cannot be as successful as we want to be — in Ireland or elsewhere in the world — unless we start playing in some of the sweet spots with [lower] price points.”

Lenovo is planning a “significant” media spend in Ireland to build the company’s brand generally and also to run specific co-marketing campaigns with local PC sellers. “There is a job for us as Lenovo to get the name known,” said O’Brien. “The challenge for us is to have people understand the name and not be scared to buy it.”

Competitors Dell and HP lead the PC market globally although O’Brien pointed out that both sell to consumers which Lenovo does not do in Europe. She pointed out that the gap between them is not as wide in the laptop market.

“We are the world’s third-largest PC vendor with a very clear ambition to grow aggressively,” she said.

By Gordon Smith