Lenovo - tech powerhouse
Chinese technology giant Lenovo were virtually unknown in the IT industry until 2005. It was in 2005 they acquired IBM’s desktop and laptop business for a reported $1.2bn, whilst also taking on $500m of their debt, and IBM claiming a reported 18% of Lenovo as part of the deal. This acquisition launched Lenovo onto the main stage in personal computing, with the Thinkpad range of laptops surpassing Toshiba, as the market leader. They have since, in 2014, acquired IBM’s Intel branded server range, including IBM System x and IBM BladeCenter.
In 2012 Lenovo also penetrated the smartphone market and by 2014 were China’s largest vendor of smartphones. They have since bought Motorola from Google, a deal that was completed in 2014. This was a complete u-turn for the company as they sold their smartphone / tablet division in 2009 for $100m, only to buy it back again a year later for twice the price they sold it! They set about surpassing Samsung Electronics as China’s biggest smartphone vendor aggressively by spending a reported $800m on a manufacturing plant in Wuhan, capable of producing up to 40 million phones per year.
The company now sells it’s products in more than 170 countries and has operations in over 60 countries, with their headquarters being in Beijing.
The company has had issues with customer service, with some average reported telephone support waiting times of up to 30 minutes. They have tried to address this with new technology which recognizes the callers device easier, making the support process smoother.
Love them, or loathe them, Lenovo are here to stay. Aswell as the major acquisitions listed above they have formed joint ventures with the likes of data storage giants EMC, recognizing the boom in cloud computing.