Lenovo mulls separate PC brand for India

Company says it will continue to push ThinkPad and ThinkCentre in India, but execs say a less-expensive product lineup is possible.

Michael Singer Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Singer
2 min read
PC buyers in India may have their own brand of Lenovo desktops and laptops to choose from, company executives said Monday.

Lenovo says it will continue to sell and improve on its ThinkPad laptop and ThinkCentre desktop products in India, but executives say a less-expensive product lineup might do the company some good.

"We are thinking of introducing another brand under Lenovo," Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Lenovo, told the Xinhuanet news service during a press briefing in New Delhi. "Lenovo has developed some good products in China which might meet the need of (the) Indian market. For example, it has worked out products for those not very skilled in computer(s) or for schools where many students have to share one computer."

Lenovo's push in India comes as Lenovo looks to establish its newly acquired IBM PC division. Inside China, Lenovo sells one out of every three computers. India seems a tougher nut to crack.

Lenovo's India plans are part of an expected expansion into 160 countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

It's estimated that there are 14 computers available for every 1,000 people in India, making it fertile ground for Lenovo.

The company has also opened regional offices for business in New Delhi and other areas, promising less-expensive PCs to a country that suffers from computer illiteracy, despite its rapid growth in the IT industry.

Some 3.6 million PCs were sold in India in 2004, according to market research company IDC. Desktop sales made up the lion's share (about 3.4 million) of the total. The remaining 221,000 were notebook sales, and that figure represents an 80 percent increase over the previous 12-month period.

Hewlett-Packard recently moved up to take the No. 1 sales position in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes India, according to IDC. In addition to its U.S. computer maker rivals like Dell and Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo must also compete with Indian manufacturers of low-cost Linux computers.