Lenovo Group Limited (, ) is China's largest and the world's
fourth largest personal computer manufacturer, after Hewlett-Packard and Dell of the U.S. and Acer of Taiwan..
Lenovo produces desktops, laptops, servers, handheld computers, imaging equipment, and mobile phone handsets. Lenovo also provides information technology integration and support services, and its QDI unit offers contract manufacturing. Lenovo also offers Internet access through its FM365.com portal.
Its executive headquarters are located in Beijing, China and in Morrisville, North Carolina, USA. It is incorporated in Hong Kong.
Lenovo makes a variety of products for world wide sale. These products include:
As of February 29
, 44.4% of Lenovo is owned by public shareholders, 41.8% by Legend Holdings Limited
, 6.7% by IBM
, 6.5% by Texas Pacific Group
, General Atlantic LLC and Newbridge Capital LLC and 0.6 by the directors. Because the Chinese Academy of Sciences
, a Chinese government
agency, owns 65% of Legend Holdings, effectively the Chinese government owns about 27.17% of Lenovo and is the largest shareholder.
The company was founded in 1984
by a group of eleven engineers, headed by Liu Chuanzhi
, in Beijing
. Originally known as Legend Group Ltd
and New Technology Developer Incorporated
, the listed holding company was incorporated in 1988 in Hong Kong
. The company had become the biggest PC manufacturer of domestic and distributed third party products through its wholesale business.
The company underwent restructuring and separated into two entities. They were Lenovo and Digital China Holdings Limited. Lenovo became the personal computer manufacturer and Digital China took on the wholesale and distribution of IT products and services.
In 2005 Lenovo purchased IBM's PC Division which transformed it into a major international personal computer manufacturer. Lenovo paid $1.27 billion to IBM which consisted of $655 million in cash and $600 million in Lenovo stock. As a result of the acquisition, Lenovo gained the rights to the product lines as well as licensed trademarks such as ThinkVision, ThinkPad, ThinkVantage, ThinkCentre, Aptiva, and NetVista.
Legend-Lenovo-IBM Time Line
- 1981: International Business Machines introduces the IBM Personal Computer, built by the IBM Entry Systems Division, in Boca Raton, Florida.
- 1984: IBM introduces its first portable computer, the IBM Portable PC, weighing 30 pounds.
- 1984: With an initial capital outlay of only RMB300,000 (US$30,000) Lenovo’s founding chairman Liu Chuanzhi, together with 10 like-minded colleagues, launches the New Technology Developer Inc. (the predecessor of the Legend Group) funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
- 1986: IBM announces its first, the PC Convertible, weighing 12 pounds.
- 1987: IBM announces the Personal System/2 personal computer.
- 1987: Legend successfully rolls out the Legend Chinese-character card.
- 1988: Legend’s Chinese-character card receives the highest National Science-Technology Progress Award in People's Republic of China. Legend Hong Kong is established.
- 1989: Beijing Legend Computer Group Co. is established.
- 1990: The very first Legend PC is launched in the market. Legend changes its role from that of an agent for imported computer products into that of a producer and seller of its own branded computer products. Legend PCs are ratified and accepted by the China Torch Program.
- 1992: IBM Personal Computer Division introduces ThinkPad series, the industry’s first notebook with a 10.4 inch color Thin Film Transistor (TFT) display and a TrackPoint (red ball) pointing device. Legend pioneers the home PC concept and Legend 1 + 1 home PCs enter the Chinese marketplace.
- 1993: Legend enters the Pentium era, producing People's Republic of China’s first “586” PC. Legend establishes 1+1 retail network.
- 1994: IBM PCD introduces the industry’s first notebook with integrated CD-ROM, the ThinkPad 755CD. Legend is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Legend PC business division is formally established.
- 1995: IBM PCD introduces the “butterfly” keyboard. Lenovo moves from Boca Raton, Florida, to Raleigh, North Carolina. Legend introduces the first Legend-brand server.
- 1996: Legend becomes the market share leader in China for the first time. Legend introduces the first Legend brand laptop.
- 1997: IBM PCD introduces the industry’s first notebook equipped with a DVD-ROM, the ThinkPad 770. Legend signs an Intellectual Property agreement with Microsoft, the most valuable deal ever made in China at the time. Legend launches the first multi-function laser printer.
- 1998: IBM PCD introduces the ThinkLight, a small light that illuminates the keyboard for use in low-light work environments, such as aboard an airplane. The millionth Legend PC comes off the production line. Intel Chairman Andy Grove attends the ceremony, and takes the PC for Intel’s museum collection. Legend establishes the first Legend Shop.
- 1999: IBM PCD introduces the industry’s first sub-notebook, weighing under three pounds, with standard ports and a keyboard that is 95 percent the size of full-size keyboards. Lenovo announces its exit from the retail business. IBM PCD introduces the industry’s first PC with an embedded security chip. Legend becomes the top PC vendor in the Asia-Pacific region, and heads the Chinese national Top 100 Electronic Enterprises ranking. Legend launches pioneering Internet PC, with its “one-touch-to-the-net” feature, which enables millions of Chinese PC users to easily access the Internet.
- 2000: IBM PCD ships its 10 -millionth ThinkPad notebook PC. Legend becomes a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index - HK. Legend ranked in top 10 of world’s best-managed PC vendors.
- 2001: An IBM notebook with an embedded security chip becomes the industry’s first notebook with a security chip designed to the Trusted Computing Group specification, an industry body setting data security standards. Legend successfully spins off Digital China Co. Ltd., which is separately listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Legend appoints Yuanqing Yang as President and CEO. Legend first introduces “digital home” concept and launches accessories-enabling PC.
- 2002: Lenovo PC outsourcing pact with Sanmina-SCI. Legend debuts the DeepComp 1800 supercomputer. It is People's Republic of China’s first computer with 1,000 GFLOP (floating point operations per second) and PRC's fastest computer for civilian use, ranked 43rd in the Top 500 list of the world’s fastest computers. The mobile handset joint venture announced, marking Legend’s formal entry into the mobile handset business.
- 2003: Lenovo introduces a notebook with battery life up to 11 hours. Lenovo introduces its ThinkCentre desktop PC line. IBM PCD ships its 20-millionth ThinkPad notebook PC.
- 2004: IBM PCD introduces the ThinkCentre desktop PC. Lenovo ships its 100-millionth PC. Lenovo becomes an Olympic worldwide partner. Lenovo launches the “Yuanmeng” PC series designed for home users in small villages. Lenovo and IBM announce an agreement by which Lenovo will acquire IBM’s Personal Computing Division, its global PC (desktop and notebook computer) business.
- 2005: Lenovo completes the acquisition of IBM’s Personal Computing Division, making the company the world's third largest computer manufacturer (after Hewlett-Packard and Dell). Lenovo announces it closed a US$350 million strategic investment by three leading private equity firms: Texas Pacific Group, General Atlantic LLC and Newbridge Capital LLC. Lenovo establishes a new Innovation Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Lenovo introduces the ThinkPad X41 Tablet and Z60. William Amelio is appointed as CEO and President of Lenovo.
- 2006: Lenovo introduces dual-core ThinkPad notebook PCs. Lenovo supplies the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy with 5,000 desktop PCs, 350 servers and 1,000 notebook computers. The first Lenovo-branded products outside of China debut worldwide.
- 2007: Lenovo introduces the ThinkPad R61 and T61 notebook PCs. These are the first notebooks to use the new Santa Rosa platform from Intel.
- 2007: Lenovo announces that they are to start selling laptops to business and consumers with Linux pre-installed on their machines.
- 2008: Lenovo enters the Worldwide consumer PC market with the new "Idea" Brand. Lenovo announces 3 new IdeaPad laptops, the Y510 and Y710 desktop replacement computers available by the end of January and the ultraportable U110 available by March 2008.
Executive Director-Jan Ehrlickman-
Lenovo is active in making sure competitors make accurate and verifiable marketing claiming. Recently Dell has been receiving a lot of press coverage over its claim of having the world's most secure notebooks, specifically, its Latitude D630
and Latitude D830
According to a National Advertising Division report released in late June 2008, Dell did not have enough evidence to support its claim as maker of the "world's most secure laptops" within its marketing campaign. Lenovo filed the complaint to NAD accusing Dell of making unverified claims.
Most of the criticism made by NAD is around data encryption, both disk encryption software and disk encryption hardware, used in Dell's commercial notebooks. Dell uses hardware-based full disk encryption and software-based full disk encryption from third party vendors such as Seagate Technology
"Although NAD determined that the advertiser could truthfully advertise its position as the first in the industry to combine these particular third-party components in creating secure systems for large businesses, NAD observed the distinction between the security provided to the individual computers and the security provided to a large network of computers."
"Since not all of the components of the FDE Encryption Solution are equally relevant for all sizes of business, NAD recommended the advertiser make this distinction to the extent it intends to make broad security claims."
"On the basis of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that advertiser demonstrated that it offered features of computer security that were both unique and meaningful to consumers." Laptops with full disk encryption are expected to have data-at-rest (DAR) protection, but still can be vulnerable to cold boot attack, a type of side channel attack, which takes advantage of data remanence .
"However, it also determined that the broad claim 'World’s Most Secure' was not adequately supported and was appropriately discontinued.
Dell voluntarily discontinued the "world's most secured laptops" advertisement after the announcement of the NAD investigation.
Dell's original claim is: "The industry-first solution delivers improved performance versus software-based encryption and automated compliance reports so customers are confident that encryption is enabled." "'Dell is at the forefront of laptop security because it ranks as a top concern for customers in an environment where more data is produced by an increasingly mobile work force,' said Margaret Franco, director, Dell Product Group. 'The industry-first solution we’re announcing today adds to our multi-pronged approach to security that delivers an ironclad assurance of protection.'”
"Lenovo" is a portmanteau of "Le-" (from Legend) and "novo", pseudo-Latin for "new". The Chinese name means "association" or "connected thinking" but can also imply creativity.
Lenovo has been actively sponsoring world sporting events in recent years. After becoming a partner sponsor of the 2006 Torino
Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics
. Lenovo also designed the Olympic torch for the 2008 Olympics. Lenovo is also sponsoring the World Anti-Doping Agency
’s Athlete Outreach Program both the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic
Since 2007, Lenovo sponsors the Formula One team WilliamsF1 and in 2006, the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2006 Lenovo used Brazilian soccer professional Ronaldinho to promote new products.