Lenovo expects flat growth in PC market
The economic slump, high inflation and a weaker baht are hindering demand for personal computers, with the Thai market expected to see flat growth this year, according to PC giant Lenovo.
"We have seen slower demand in the local computer market since the second quarter due to economic woes," said Woraphot Thavornwan, general manager for Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, and consumer division head of Lenovo Thailand.
In the first six months, the local PC market grew 2% year-on-year to 406,000 units, with first-quarter growth offsetting a slowdown in the second quarter, he said.
In the first half, the firm's ultra-slim notebook segment grew 5.8% year-on-year and detachable devices surged 23.8%, while convertible notebook sales contracted 8%.
With lower demand over the past couple of months, Mr Woraphot said computer makers have started to reduce prices by 10% to stimulate demand amid intensifying competition.
The custom-made computer desktop market has now softened as cryptocurrency mining activities, which rely on high-performance computers, have eased due to lower Bitcoin prices, he said.
However, in the fourth quarter the computer market is expected to see prices rising by at least 5% due to ongoing component shortages and a depreciating baht.
"We are trying to absorb costs which arise from all of these elements," said Mr Woraphot. "With the global economic woes and high inflation, the local PC market is expected to see flat growth this year."
According to Mr Woraphot, Thailand's PC market is becoming more fragmented while computer makers need to get market insights and provide unique functions to serve the market's needs, instead of just focusing on price and performance.
Computer users now tend to change their devices every two years on average, compared with every four years before the pandemic, he noted.
The market has also seen higher demand for all-in-one devices with powerful performance and extra care and services.
Globally, Lenovo had a 24.4% market share in the first quarter -- the leading position in the PC market.
Making new products designed to serve users' lifestyle preferences, adding unique features and offering extra after-sales services are intended to make Lenovo growth outpace the rest of the industry.
"We added some features, including noise cancellation that can support learning and meeting activities, following the rise of the hybrid work trend," he said.
In terms of the local market, Lenovo's IdeaPad notebook segment, with a price range of 10,000-30,000 baht, contributes 60% of the firm's sales in the consumer notebook segment, followed by the gaming Legion notebook category at 30% and the premium Yoga model at 10%.
According to Mr Woraphot, convertible and detachable laptops can serve the new digital lifestyle, hybrid working, and learning and entertainment consumption.
He said target customers include Generation Z, entertainers, and aspirers, as these groups require self-discovery and expression.
Lenovo recently launched a new line-up of IdeaPad notebooks, consisting of the IdeaPad Flex 5, Duet5i, Slim 5iPro, Slim5 Pro, Slim 5i, Slim5, Slim3i and Slim3.