[photopress:IT_Lenovoi_notebook.jpg,full,alignright]Lenovo is very serious about nudging arch-rival Acer from the third place in the world rankings, behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell of the United States. Now it has launched a new line in France with a range of products aimed at individuals instead of large companies. This is part of its global strategy of expanding its market appeal by going for defined segments of the market.
Lenovo France chairman Jean-Michel Donner said its ‘Idea’ range of portable and desktop personal computers will be on sale by the middle of this month at four major retail chains. He said the company, which is focusing on ‘medium- to high-end range models with innovative designs . . . aims to launch all these products across Europe in 2008.’
He said it was important for Lenovo to have a presence in the mass consumer market, which industry figures show accounts for 40% of the global computer market. All of which is true. But Lenovo is venturing into what is, for it as a computer company, a totally new area. Where style is as important as, perhaps more important than, function. Where it is pretty certain it will be selling more notebooks than desktops.
It is not very French — nor Italian nor even European — to have an ugly machine dominate a space when the same job can be done by something smaller with style. At one time there was no choice. There is now.
That word style is indefinable. Apple had it right from the beginning. Acer never acquired it. Hewlett-Packard thought it a mental aberration — one of its vice-presidents told me this firmly in an interview. But, in fact, what will decide the fate of the Lenovo line in Europe will not be computing power but style — and that is difficult to achieve although its latest laptops looks as if it is on message.