February 21, 2006 7:40 PM PST

Lenovo-branded PCs to make U.S. debut

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Lenovo plans to dramatically expand its presence in the U.S. computer market by releasing a series of low-end desktop and notebook PCs for small businesses, CNET News.com has learned.

The company plans to hold a press conference Thursday in New York to unveil the new systems, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. The 3000 series PCs, which will use processors from both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, represent Lenovo's first major expansion into the U.S. computer market since it completed the purchase of IBM's PC business last May.

Lenovo is the world's third-largest PC seller, according to data from market researchers IDC and Gartner. But most of its historical strength lies in emerging markets such as its home base of China, and the majority of the PCs it ships are ThinkPads, a brand it acquired from IBM. The company agreed to purchase IBM's PC business in 2004 for $1.75 billion in cash and assumed debt in hopes of not only acquiring contacts at large U.S. corporations through the ThinkPads, but also to find new customers for its Lenovo-branded products.

Thursday's expected launch will mark the first of those Lenovo-branded products to emerge inside the United States, according to sources. The products will target small and midsize businesses to start, a market Lenovo tentatively embraced last year with the return of the ThinkPad brand to retail stores like Office Depot.

Lenovo's challenge will be to differentiate itself from the rest of the PC market without diluting the ThinkPad brand, one of the main assets acquired from IBM. The 3000 J series desktops will come with a choice of processors from AMD or Intel, and will start at $349. The 3000 series notebooks will use Intel's processors only and come in three categories. The C series is designed for bargain hunters at a starting price of around $599, while the N series and V series are widescreen notebooks with more features and performance. All the systems will launch during the next few months, according to sources.

A Lenovo representative could not be immediately reached for comment. The company is heavily involved in the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy, where numerous Lenovo representatives are helping boost the company's presence as the official IT provider of the Olympic Games.

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Lenovo, IBM PC, ThinkPad, IBM Corp., U.S.

5 comments

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US government + IBM contracts = China Syndrom
How can Lenovo inherit goverment contracts? From what I understand, IBM's major buyers of the ThinkPad was mostly US Government and government subcontractors.
Posted by itworker--2008 (130 comments )
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order an additional 3GB of memory and ...
you get a free egg-roll and fortune cookie :)
Posted by Lolo Gecko (131 comments )
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Wonder...
How many would actually buy a thinkpad now that it is owned by a Chinese sweatshop?
If it is a value for money when compared to similar offerings to competitors,then I wouldn't think twice, but would others do the same?
Is there a differentiating factor between Lenovo and any one of the local brands? None.
So it is only the cost factor which can be associated when we think of a Chinese company. Chinese=Cheap (No offense meant, please. You are free to delete this comment if you feel it hurts anybody's sentiments.)
Posted by thedevilbegone (139 comments )
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Very Naive Thinking People...
Quite frankly, this is what is wrong with the U.S. when it comes to viewing other country's goods and services. Some Americans always think things that are made here are the best and everyone else is cheap. I tend to think Lenovo makes a quality product and with IBM's service and support will become an even better PC company. Lenovo is comparatively young in the U.S. market and will take some time to distinguish itself from the rest of the PC pack but you can rest assure the Chinese will not sit in a passive posture in the fast paced PC industry, and you can also be sure they will be up to the task to tighten the gap with Dell and HP in market share. Chinese does not mean Cheap and any PC company that doesn't take them seriously had better watch out. After all, they aren't the number 3 PC company for nothing... And I am sure they don't want to stay there either.
Posted by pilaa (253 comments )
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I think that everyone should always be aware of thing from over seas alot of bad things have happened to us because of our use of these countrys. Im just saying that the things that come out of china are hurting our children and I dont think we should stand for that ever. And just cause its a computer company we should not let our walls down. And also if IBM went out of business then why should we trust the ones who bought it
Posted by big_daddy0077 (1 comment )
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