Lenovo brand launches in SA
Lenovo South Africa launched its products officially on Friday, with desktops and laptops that look distinctly non-IBM. The new company is hoping to capture a slice of the lucrative home user and SME markets with its 3000 series, while the Think brand continues to play in the corporate arena.
While all of the Lenovo 3000 products on show sported Microsoft Windows XP, Pienaar says that Lenovo-branded products will ship with Dos-based licences so that end-users can load their own choice of operating systems. Pricing for this option was not given. Whether the South African resellers decide to offer this option on to customers remains to be seen.
Products announced include the C series of notebooks and J series of desktops. The first C100 notebooks will retail from R6 299 including VAT. The desktops come in tower or slim-line format, with the tower costing R5 199, and the slim-line R4 500.
Julian Pienaar, Lenovo brand manager, says that Lenovo will be entering the retail market segment in the second half of the year, after significantly increasing its number of channel partners. The South African home market is worth 23% of the total pie, while the SMB market accounts for 58% of PC sales. IBM’s traditional space, large business, accounts for only 19% of PC sales in the country, says Pienaar (quoting BMI-TechKnowledge figures).
Rashid Wally, Lenovo country general manager for South and Central Africa, says that the new company will be moving out of IBM’s current premises in Sandton, and will look for a BEE partner in the future. It will still maintain a close relationship with IBM, with financing options to be offered through IBM Global Financing, and support through IBM’s technical support services.