Lenovo's NZ operation is celebrating market share gains in a New Zealand PC market that is hard-scrabble overall.
• Vodafone reveals wider 5G rollout; rivals welcome stop-gap plan
• Vodafone promises 5G by December, beating Spark and 2degrees to the punch
• GCSB gives Vodafone the green light for 5G
• Spark springs 5G surprise with rural wireless
"Despite a declining New Zealand PC market, Lenovo has been experiencing a strong 5 per cent year-on-year market share growth for FY2019," Lenovo ANZ managing director Matt Codrington says.
The Lenovo boss says boosting local staff numbers was one of the key reasons beyond the local gains.
Codrington is hoping to maintain the gains into 2020, with Lenovo set to become the first PC maker in NZ to release a laptop with built-in 5G - probably in the New Year.
Levovo's 5G connectivity will come courtesy of Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem, which featured in Vodafone's early 5G testing.
That means a laptop with fibre-like speed and not dependent on wi-fi - at least not in areas with 5G, which is set for launch here before Christmas.
Vodafone NZs and Spark both have 5G trials underway. Vodafone says its on target for a commercial launch in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in the December. Spark is shooting to offer its first 5G service from July next year. 2degrees has yet to set a roadmap.
A laptop with a foldable screen
Lenovo is also one of four PC makers (the others are Dell, HP and Asus) set to release a dual-screen laptop running on Microsoft's Windows 10x around autumn next year.
Some glitches with the first-round of foldable-screen phones notwithstanding, these notebooks look promising in prototype form. There's a traditional display, plus a second display where a physical keyboard usually sits. The second display (see video below) can be used as a virtual keyboard, a touchscreen or an expanded display.
Market research company IDC confirms the 2019 financial year was another tough period for PC makers as people use a wider array of smart devices to connect to the internet.
PC shipments into the NZ market dropping 4.7 percent, associate analyst Liam Landon tells the Herald.
However, the picture brightens somewhat if you broaden the traditional definition of a personal computer.
Some 690,435 laptop and desktop were shipped in the NZ market in the year to June.
But if you include "slate" tablets Apple's iPad and detachable tablets make by the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft - where a laptop's keyboard can be unclipped then the display function like a tablet - then the total PC market measures 994,005 units (and iPad maker Apple, which is pushing a cover with a built-in keyboard for its just-released seventh-generation iPad, jumps into second spot - see tables below).
Codrington says Lenovo was also first-to-market with a 5G smartphone, and it's looking to 5G upgrades from December to drive growth for its "Moto" series.
The Beijing-based Lenovo gained international profile after it bought IBM's laptop business, including its ThinkPad brand in 2005.
And in 2014, Lenovo bought Motorola's handset business from Google for around US$3 billion (Android maker Google bought Motorola Mobility from its US parent in 2011 as a weapon in its patent war against several other tech giants).