Stories by Sumner Lemon

Lenovo pips Acer in Q2 rankings

Lenovo Group reclaimed the number three spot among PC vendors during the second quarter, pushing rival Acer to fourth place. But Acer's exceptionally fast growth means the company is likely to overtake Lenovo as number three for the entire year, if current trends continue.

China hits 162 million internet users

The number of Chinese internet users hit 162 million at the end of June, growing at the fastest rate since 2004, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said yesterday

Dell talks up retail sales in Australia

Dell is working on plans to sell PCs through retail stores in Asia and Australia, as part of a company shift away from using only direct sales. Dell will add retail channels for PC sales in India, China, Australia and Japan, says T.R. Reid, a company spokesman. Dell will continue selling PCs directly to customers in these countries, which are the company's most important markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Reid did not say when retail PC sales would start, though indicated the company is talking to retail partners in the region. "There's really strong interest on the part of potential partners," he says. The addition of retail sales represents a major strategy shift for Dell. The company pioneered the direct sales model during the 1990s, eschewing traditional PC sales channels for the internet and telephone hotlines to become the world's biggest PC vendor. Until recently, Dell executives repeatedly dismissed the idea of retail sales helping reach customers in countries like China, saying direct sales would suffice. This aversion to retail sales ended in January with the return of Michael Dell as company CEO. Sliding sales toppled the company from its number-one spot and Michael Dell has looked to reverse the company's fortunes. Part of his strategy includes embracing the retail channel, which has proved instrumental in the recent strong performance of rivals such as Acer and Hewlett-Packard. On June 10, the first Dell PCs went on sale with Wal-Mart in the US and Puerto Rico. The company is now selling two desktop PC models through Wal-Mart, both priced under $US700.

Google lax about privacy, group says

When it comes to protecting the privacy of its users, Google ranks worse than any other internet company, according to an interim report by Privacy International. The international watchdog group also accused Google of engaging in a smear campaign in response to its findings, and demanded an apology.

Lenovo signs end-user services deal with IBM

Lenovo Group has signed a five-year deal with IBM to provide services and support to its customers. The deal, outlined in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange Tuesday, could be worth up to US$245 million for IBM over the term of the contract.

Sharp by name, sharp by nature

Sharp raised the bar for high-definition LCD (liquid crystal display) screens this week with the demonstration of 64-inch prototype with a resolution of 4,096 pixels by 2,160 pixels -- four times higher than current high-definition displays.

Lenovo will gun for new markets next year

One year after announcing plans to acquire IBM's PC division, Lenovo group chairman Yang Yuanqing is ready to take the enlarged company on the offensive and push into new markets.