Lenovo defends Aussie ThinkPad pricing

Lenovo defends Aussie ThinkPad pricing

Summary: PC manufacturer Lenovo has mounted a spirited defence of its Australian pricing, despite launching its new flagship ThinkPad X1 laptop in Sydney for $560 more than the cost of the same hardware selling in the United States.

TOPICS: Laptops, Mobility

PC manufacturer Lenovo has mounted a spirited defence of its Australian pricing, despite launching its new flagship ThinkPad X1 laptop in Sydney for $560 more than the cost of the same hardware selling in the United States.


(Credit: Lenovo)

At a launch event yesterday for the device, which brings a number of new features to the Chinese company's laptop line-up, company executives said that local pricing on the machine would start at $1959 — despite it selling for as little as US$1399 in the US. Executives defended the pricing by saying that the company priced "at the local market", not based on what the value of the Australian dollar was compared to the US. Currently, one Australian dollar buys US$1.06.

The logistical cost of bringing hardware to the Australian market was greater than in the US, the company said, in addition to an enhanced cost of servicing Australia's dispersed population. Lenovo Australia managing director Alan Munro cited the "sheer size of supply" to locations such as the US or Europe bringing economies of scale. And costs outside the cities added up. "It's the most urbanised country in the world — if you're outside the urban area, it costs more," he said of Australia.

"There will be fluctuations in pricing from country to country," said Lenovo product lead David Heyworth. "We try to ensure they are as minimal as possible. There are service and support issues that we need to maintain here. We feel that at $1959, for an X1 product, which is quite revolutionary, with new standards of managements, processor speeds ... we feel it's a compelling product."

Lenovo executives added that the pricing was based on Lenovo's desire to be competitive in the Australian market — not necessarily to match parity with the US dollar.

Lenovo is billing the X1 itself as its new thinnest laptop — but still with a great deal of processing power and features. The device has a 13-inch screen and a number of high-end features — it can come with Intel's i3, i5 or i7 processors, uses a sturdy "Gorilla Glass" screen from manufacturer Corning, has a new battery which can charge up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes and a new backlit keyboard.

Dolby sound comes built in, as well as an on-board 3G mobile broadband connection, 720p camera, high-definition microphones designed to support Voice over IP telephony and a fingerprint reader. Overall, Heyworth billed the laptop as the most advanced laptop ever made in Lenovo's ThinkPad line-up. The company acquired the range from IBM some years ago; it has a reputation for quality amongst business users.

At the event, Heyworth conducted some unusual demonstrations to prove the ThinkPad X1's durability — dropping a model to the floor from height and then standing on it, and pouring a glass of water over the device's keyboard. The machine survived and was still able to function as normal.

"I could dance, but I think I should stop dancing before it stops working," joked Heyworth as he stood on the laptop.

Topics: Laptops, Mobility

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  • Lets not talk about W510 pricing: $5000+ in AUD, but $2500 in USD. That pricing is impossible to defend. All I have to do is order it from US using on of the numerous services that allow it, and I get it for AUD$3000. That is nothing short of price gouging because they can. Another example of the complete lack of competition in this country that sees us paying far to much for goods and services.
  • What a load of poppycock. "Executives defended the pricing by saying that the company priced "at the local market""...all that means is they'll charge what they think us dumb stooges will pay.

    We're just being gouged cause everyone else in the world thinks were doing it so well thanks to the resource boom (which doesn't help the average Aussie very much at all, unless your family owns an iron mine)...

    "The logistical cost of bringing hardware to the Australian market was greater than in the US".

    More poppycock. Many other Chinese/Asian companies (Asus, Gigabyte, et al) can ship stuff here and sell cheaper than the USA.

    I'll pass thanks...
  • I agree with the first comment above; Levono is simply ripping-off potential Australian customers. However, we (the customers) have a very simple respons - don't buy Levono products! The market will take care of the rest. There are many other fine laptops out there that are just as good as the Levono.

  • Price gouging only! Most shipping around the world is based on volume occupied in the container. A few years ago the company I worked for in manufacturing shifted part of their operations to China. A comparable sized (read volume) item to a notebook shipped from China then was around $4. Even with an increase in shipping in the intervening years, there is no way that it would account for $560!
    Even airfreight would be economic to do.
    In fact, blatant price gouging. Don't buy...
  • After 25 years of buying IBM Thinkpad and Lenovo I have now bought a HP. Although I prefer the Thinkpads by a long shot and still have two in the house, and have sold in excess of $2m worth of Thinkpads myself to corporporate customers, I refuse to be ripped off. Wake up and get with it Lenovo, two of your 5 biggest clients have already dumped you for Toshiba.
  • It's simple, just boycott their products. I thought the Apple tax was bad but these guys are taking the **** Given that it is very competitive market, I'd say that pricing at what "the market will bear" will bite them in the arse.
  • Sorry Heyworth, but when it's cheaper to buy a product from another country (including shipping) then it is to buy locally, that's a remarkable indication that either the local company can't run their business properly, or they are ripping off their customers. Either way it's not a good outcome.
  • This price gouging of Australians is something the ACCC needs to look at.
    It is evident were are being ripped off on just about every imported product you look at now.
    I noted yesterday I can buy at set of tyres for my car, identical to the ones I have now, from the USA for less than half what they cost here. So, even with $400 freight, I still save $800 on a set of 4.
  • Trying to defend the indefensible. I was quoted only $50 to ship a laptop from the states to Oz. On top of a retail purchase.
    That this device is not even made there and would have had shipping already added to the US retail cost makes me even madder.
    If I go to a Singapore or Hong Kong on-line retailer it is even cheaper. No wonder there will be real problems for those vendors in this country who rip people off.

    As for warranty and back-up service in Australia, it is frequently useless. If I buy something and it could spend months not being able to be used while a company "looks at the problem" or decides "who in the chain is responsible" for repairs or service I cannot justify buying anything imported from a local supplier. We might only be a little better off here if we had real warranty legislation & proper Lemon Laws
  • What a load of crap they're saying, ripping off Australian buyers, just because our money has higher value than US. I was thinking of buying a US tablet then ship it to Australia with an international warranty, but it seems Lenovo took that off the web to prevent us from buying US products with international warranty.