SINGAPORE--Lenovo is ready to remove the IBM logo from its products, 18 months after finalizing its acquisition of IBM's PC division, according to a senior company executive.
Large enterprise customers will have the option of removing the IBM logo from Lenovo's computers by the end of this year, said Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Lenovo, at a media briefing held here last week. The Chinese PC giant intends to keep the IBM logo on its computers for retail customers until the Beijing Olympics 2008 ends, after which it will review whether to remove Big Blue completely from products targeted at these customers, he said. Lenovo inked a sponsorship agreement in 2004 to provide IT equipment such as desktops, laptops, servers and printers, at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
According to Advani, the logo was retained after the company's acquisition of IBM's PC business unit to sustain sales momentum. He explained that Lenovo had obtained the right to use the IBM logo on its computers until 2010, but owns the ThinkPad laptop brand permanently.
Advani noted that the ThinkPad brand remains strong, and added that "great brands get built because they appeal to consumers at an emotional level".
The ThinkPad notebook family was included in the buyout last year, and has been dubbed the "crown jewel" of the PC giant, formerly known as Legend. The company, which also sells an extensive range of products including PCs, cell phones and electronic goods in the China market, changed its twenty-year-old English brand name to Lenovo in 2003 to kickstart its expansion into overseas markets.
The company will use both the ThinkPad and Lenovo product lines to expand its brand outside its home country, where the Chinese hardware manufacturer is a dominant player with 37 percent of the market share, Ou Shian Wei, Lenovo's general manager for ASEAN and South Asia, told ZDNet Asia in February this year.
The Lenovo-branded line includes the 3000 series, which is targeted at small businesses and individual users, and the first AMD-based desktop PC configuration--Lenovo 3000 J105--which was launched in the United States. Other offerings include the Lenovo C100 notebooks and J100 and J105 desktops.
In an IDC report released last month, the company is currently the world's third-largest PC seller and the market leader in the Asia-Pacific region, with 21 percent of total shipments in the third quarter of 2006. Most of the vendor's growth came from the Greater China region, consisting of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In addition to it brand building efforts, Lenovo last month inked an agreement to be the official PC partner of the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), and also has a similar marketing and technology agreement with the Olympic Games to sponsor computer equipment for the Winter Olympics, held earlier this year in the Italian city of Turin.