In 2016, every one in five Personal Computers (PC) were made by China-based PC maker – Lenovo.

According to research firm Gartner, Lenovo held the largest market share among PC makers from 2013 to 2016. This marks a 20.6 percent market share in 2016.

Collectively, the three PC makers account for just a touch under 60 percent market share worldwide. However, this all changed in 2017 as HP overtook Lenovo’s pole position by shipping the most PCs last year.

HP overtook Lenovo’s pole position by shipping the most PCs last year

2017 fourth quarter estimates showed HP held 22.5 percent market share amongst PC makers. Lenovo follows closely with 22 percent, with Dell at 15.2 percent. Hence the need for Lenovo to innovate and present greater product differentiation is key to capturing the PC market share.

Lenovo’s boss in Malaysia has the answer to this.

“The key to differentiation is to first understand where the key growth area is. And for us, we’ve identified that the gaming PC segment is the fastest growing so far,” says Country GM for Lenovo Malaysia Khoo Hung Chuan.

In moving ahead with the various customer segments, Khoo is confident Lenovo has the necessary product differentiation.

“Our Yoga series is well established,” he said, referring to the multi-form laptop notebook series. “Consumers want more versatility, durability, increased form factor that would make their devices more suited to fit whatever that they need.

"In Yoga, it is fulfilling this requirement. The ability to swap from a tablet mode to a laptop mode gives consumers ample opportunity to use the device as they see fit,” he adds.

Computer makers are also shifting their focus to mobile phones as well. When asked about their strategy in the mobile segment, Khoo views that Lenovo is ahead of the game.

“We look at the mobile phone market as complementary to our work,” he says.

We still go back to the PC to get the much needed performance

“You see, consumers would still use PC for content creation. They still need laptops and desktops to build content. That is what works for them. For mobile devices - be it phones or tablets - it is more for content consumption and not content creation. We still go back to the PC to get the much needed performance,” he explains.

On the tax regime changes in the country and the reintroduction of Sales & Services Tax (SST) in September, Khoo says it is still too early to access how it would impact Lenovo’s product prices.

“I am still unsure of what the new SST has in store. But, just to let you know, in the old SST regime, computers are part of the SST-exemption products, so if the new SST has the same structure as the old tax regime, then it should mean cheaper prices for computers."

"But I still need time to understand the new tax regime laws to be sure,” he adds.

“At Lenovo, we ask ourselves what drives our customers. What makes a customer want to use our product? What are our customers are thinking?"

"Only then can we start building great products for our customers,"says Khoo.