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Lenovo predicts state of PC, market and consumer behavior in 2014

Mobility and all-day computing, among key trends expected this year.

The PC Plus industry in 2014 will be driven by consumerization of business devices with the emergence of “Choose Your Own Device” phenomenon and the prevalence of “Bring Your Own Device” in the office place, according to Lenovo, the #1 PC maker worldwide for 2013. Lenovo expects growth in multimode convertibles, as flexibility, reliability, and content creation figure into consumers’ purchase decisions.

LenovoAn IDC survey conducted in April 2013 showed that 91.3 percent of respondents do not consider tablets as replacements for PCs. The same survey also found that 58.5 percent of respondents bought a tablet to be used in addition to a laptop, and not as a replacement.

While some tablets may be closing the performance gap with PCs, the creation of content still demands a PC’s form factor for better input accuracy. The existence of a market for physical keyboards designed for tablets suggests that tablet users continue to face a compromised experience when entering text on their device’s touchscreen during content creation.

The PC industry is a US$200 billion market with opportunity for profitable growth. There is room for innovation for the PC platform to make it even more relevant and desirable than before; convertible PCs, like table PCs, are an example of this continued innovation.

“Lenovo will grow and lead the market for convertible PCs with products like the Yoga series, the Flex 14 and 15 laptops, as well as Horizon Table PC and Flex 20 All-In-One (AIO). This growth potential will be driven by declining production costs for key components such as processors, storage and touch technologies,” said Michael Ngan, country general manager, Lenovo Philippines.

As competition stiffens in the industry for mobile devices, manufacturers regularly tout their products’ latest hardware and features, like QHD screen displays, high-megapixel cameras and multi-core processors. These product specifications are frequently highlighted as differentiating features, but they often come at the expense of battery life.

A device that is out of battery has zero features. With this unforgiving reality in mind, battery life should be one of the top considerations for end-users and manufacturers. Lenovo expects products that enable all-day computing will be one of the focuses in 2014, as users seek to rid themselves of the reliance on additional power sources while on the move and become truly mobile.

Combining modern product design with all-day battery life is possible with innovations like Lenovo’s new Power Bridge technology, which allows users to swap external batteries without powering down their PC. This “hot swap” feature, available in Lenovo’s new range of ThinkPad Ultrabooks (T440s, T440 and X240), provides flexibility and maximum battery life in almost any situation, achieving up to 17 hours of battery life and extending productivity beyond all day.

The emphasis on battery life extends also to tablets. Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet features an ergonomic design in the form of a cylindrical handle that makes it more comfortable for users to hold the device in one hand. The cylindrical handle also packs in powerful, dual batteries typically found in laptops, offering dramatically longer battery life – up to 18 hours – which is significantly more than typical tablets.

The commercial segment is expected to expand to a fifth of the tablet market by 2017 as companies are increasingly picking up tablets for various uses such as equipping their mobile sales force, retail employees, field operations staff and basic productivity purposes for employees to stay connected and augment their productivity. Educational institutions, such as the University of Sydney in Australia, have also introduced tablet devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 for academic staff and college students to use on campus.

In the second half of 2014, the overall tablet market is expected to grow as hybrid, detachable tablets like the ThinkPad Helix and the next wave of tablet innovations fuel a new wave of growth for the category.

In line with businesses’ growing adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), there is also an opportunity for consumer-oriented tablets like the Yoga Tablet to be used in the commercial space, as long as they meet the requirements of the business. For businesses with an existing cloud service, IT managers can ensure the tablets are secured via cloud-based software for these products.

As the adoption of BYOD continues in Asia Pacific, a new trend, whereby eligible employees are provided a choice of devices they can use for work, is expected to emerge in line with IDC’s predictions. Termed “Choose Your Own Device” (CYOD), this model offers the benefits of management and security which can be standardized and guaranteed, and business processes can be mobilized.[2]

This trend will dovetail with Lenovo’s PC Plus product strategy, as manufacturers that can offer a portfolio of computing tools ranging from PCs, tablets and even smartphones, will become more attractive options during the procurement process.

“While there will be obstacles to overcome in 2014, as with every year, Lenovo expects to tap on market opportunities for profitable growth as we continue to innovate in every product category in the PC Plus space, and maintain our strong execution of our successful “Protect and Attack” strategy in the New Year,” Ngan ended.

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