In what is being described as one of the “pivotal” events of the current IT era, IBM, the inventor of the PC, has just announced that they will sell off their entire PC Division (including desktops and laptops) to Chinese company, Lenovo.
Of course, this has a direct impact on over 10,000 IBM employees worldwide, who will move across to Lenovo with the sale.
The PCs Lenovo produce will be branded “IBM” (they have rights to the brand name for 5 years), and IBM will continue to sell the PCs to their customers.
Lenovo Group Limited, the leading Personal Computer brand in China and across Asia, and IBM today announced a definitive agreement under which Lenovo will acquire IBM’s Personal Computing Division to form the world’s third-largest PC business, bringing IBM’s leading enterprise-class PC technologies to the consumer market and giving Lenovo global market reach beyond China and Asia.
IBM Press Release: Lenovo to Acquire IBM Personal Computing Division
What does this mean for IBM customers?
First and foremost, no surprises.
IBM has built its reputation on supporting its customers, and that will not change. In products, in support, in financing, or in quality.
IBM ThinkPad and IBM ThinkCentre brand product lines will continue. They will still be serviced by IBM’s world-class service and support organization, as well as technology roll-out and help-desk services. Warranty Services that Business Partners perform on behalf of IBM PC’s will continue — business as usual.
Current IBM PC customers will keep their client sales teams and IBM Business partner relationships. IBM PC products will still be supported by IBM Global Financing.
IBM itself will not only continue to offer a full range of IBM-branded products to its enterprise and small and medium business clients, but also offer award-winning products from Lenovo.
In short, your current IBM PC ownership experience shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change.
Into the future, the goal is to build on that experience. To combine the best of IBM and the best of Lenovo into an even higher standard.
Some media reports about this move:
So, it’s true. IBM, creator of the original PC in 1981, has sold its computer business to Chinese assembler Lenovo, formerly the Legend Group. Lenovo will pay Big Blue $1.25 billion, with $650 million in cash, and IBM will retain an 18.9 per cent stake in the joint venture. Lenovo will be IBM’s preferred supplier and retains the right to use the brand for five years. The deal excludes IBM’s eServer x86 PC servers.
IBM’s chief executive Sam Palmisano cited economies of scale, explaining in a release that the consumer PC market was increasingly resembling the consumer electronics business, and that the deal would help maintain IBM’s focus on business computing.
IBM will sell its PC division to China-based Lenovo and take a minority stake in the former rival in a deal valued at $1.75 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.
The two companies plan to form a complex joint venture that would make Lenovo the third-largest PC maker in the world, behind Dell and Hewlett-Packard, but still give IBM a hand in the PC business. The acqusition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2005.
… and of course, this just fuels more rumours about other things, such as IBM reselling Apple PCs in the future (as per this CNET News.com article: An Apple rumor a day)
(FYI, I work for the Software Group, not PC Division, so this won’t directly affect me in any way)