Lenovo enters luxury goods market

8 Jun 2007

Computer maker Lenovo has revealed it is to create a luxury, high-end notebook based on its ultra-light Thinkpad.

Lenovo, who acquired IBM’s PC division in 2005, said the notebook would be encased in expensive leather.

Milko van Duijl, president of Lenovo EMEA and SVP Lenovo Group, said that the concept of a luxury notebook with specific tailored services to each customer is unique and completely new to the industry.

He said that it will be Hermes-like, at the very upper end of the luxury goods market.

“We wanted to come out with a very limited edition notebook with the best and most expensive and most durable leather but most off all it’s focused on services. The packaging will not be what you’re used to with normal notebooks.”

It is expected to have tailored, individualised services, where, within a couple of hours, someone will be able to come on site no matter where you call from.

This product will not be available across all of Europe. We will instead focus on a number of specific markets only.

“The people who we think would buy this would be people who see the product, like all luxury products as an extension of who they are and how they want to be known in the market or in their environment.

“It will represent a certain form of uniqueness and exclusivity that certain people would like or prefer.”

Apart from rebranding itself as a supplier of luxury notebooks, Lenovo has also managed to completely reposition itself as a company with social responsibility by being recognised this year by Greenpeace for its environmental leadership.

Speaking to siliconrepublic.com, Van Duijl explained how Lenovo went from bottom of the list of eco-friendly tech companies to topping that list.

“When we just left IBM we were ranked low. We had a crisis meeting at senior level. I was the one who asked for those meetings because I know how important it is to be environmentally aware, how much it means to the European marketplace and how much it means to me personally.”

Lenovo changed the way it broke down its products, including disassembly and removal of microprocessors, the use of toxic materials and reuse of some components.

In December Lenovo started to offer free recycling of all its PCs, notebooks, servers and monitors in China.

Van Duijl said that Lenovo was actually in a better eco-friendly position than it had thought but because it had not made the information freely available via its website it had suffered.

“We didn’t communicate it well so we spent a considerable amount of money updating our website, updating our documentation, because several of the criteria that Greenpeace required vendors to adhere to we actually did adhere to, but didn’t write about it, which is not the smartest thing to do,” he said.

By Marie Boran