5G-enabled smartphones, foldable devices, gaming notebooks, edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to thrive next year amid the rise of intelligent transformation, says Chinese tech giant Lenovo.
"The world will change rapidly with 5G availability in key markets in 2020," said Ken Wong, president of Lenovo Asia-Pacific, who recently visited Bangkok to participate in the "Legion of Champions Series IV" gaming event.
He said the 5G network will usher in superb connectivity capacity and an explosive number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, affecting every business.
Citing a survey by global research firm IDC, Mr Wong said 88% of interviewed customers named IoT as a significant factor in determining whether businesses can survive.
Lenovo, he said, is developing smarter technologies that help ensure business success.
"We use our 3S strategies -- Smart IoT, Smart Infrastructure and Smart Vertical -- to accelerate intelligence transformation," Mr Wong said.
He said algorithms and the power of AI can differentiate businesses from their competitors.
Device as a Service trend
Mr Wong said his company foresees increasing demand in monthly subscription payment for the use of devices, such as laptops, known as Device as a Service (Daas). The format offers more flexibility for businesses.
"We are only the vendor that can provide an end-to-end service, ranging from personal computers and mobile devices to servers and data centres," he said.
Next year, foldable devices will be rolled out in the market, including foldable smartphones from Motorola and foldable computer notebooks. More 5G-enabled devices will also be launched.
"Foldable displays will bring bigger screens and a greater variety of form factors than ever before," Mr Wong said. "This enables seamless work and life integration and support for travel workers."
Edge computing will also gather steam in the 5G age, he said.
With over 20 billion connected devices expected by 2020, more businesses will move data analytics and AI-powered apps from the cloud to edge computing to reduce latency, lighten core server loads and improve business operations.
Lenovo invested US$1 billion to drive AI capability and deep learning to make devices smarter.
The company also established a special unit for AI and analytic consulting services that will help customers gather data better and build data structures through which they can gain business insights to increase their competitive edge.
Asked about the impact of the US-China trade war on the company, Mr Wong said simply that Lenovo is a $50-billion firm that operates in 160 countries worldwide and has diverse business operations.
Mr Wong said Thailand is still an important market for Lenovo, with a strong market for gaming computer notebooks and replacement of three-year-old computers.
"The market for gaming notebooks is still large here," he said. "That is why we invested millions of dollars to make the sub-brand Legion gaming devices to facilitate brand awareness and serve the community in Thailand."
The company aims to become the No.1 player in the market, up from the top three in 2019 and the top six in 2018.
"Gaming notebooks will increase performance and become lighter to support gaming and productivity," Mr Wong said.
Thaneth Angkasirisan, general manager for Indochina at Lenovo, said the number of domestic salespeople at the company has risen 30% this year.
"We will continue to focus on smarter operations in education, banking, manufacturing and healthcare sectors," he said.