Lenovo Group has revealed that its PC sales volume for the first quarter of 2019 outperformed market growth by 13% year-on-year, taking it to an all-time record PC market share globally of 24.9%. This means one in every four PCs built in the world is a Lenovo PC.
The company announced group revenue in the first quarter reached US$12.5 billion, the eighth consecutive quarter of growth. Pre-tax income more than doubled year-on-year, growing by US$127 million to reach US$240 million. Net income also more than doubled, up US$85 million to US$162 million.
Basic earnings per share for the first quarter were 1.37 US cents or 10.74 HK cents.
“This quarter’s strong results provided solid evidence that Lenovo’s Intelligent Transformation is enabling the company to drive sustainable, profitable growth in today’s dynamic and changing world,” said Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo Chairman and CEO. “Our persistent execution and operational efficiency allows us to bring our vision to life and deliver smarter technology for all.”
The first-quarter results signal that Lenovo continues to thrive – outperforming the market and leading the global tech sector in spite of industry-wide geopolitical and trade uncertainties.
The strong results are led by the Intelligent Devices Group (IDG). The PC and Smart Devices Group (PCSD), one of its two business units, continued double-digit (12%) revenue growth while achieving its highest-ever profit in a fiscal first quarter, and further improving industry-leading profitability. Pre-tax income was US$524 million, up US$98 million. Americas and Asia Pacific achieved 20% and 40% year-on-year revenue growth respectively and all four geographies (Americas, Asia Pacific, China, EMEA) each delivered over US$2 billion in revenue, demonstrating the geographical balance and sustainability of this business.
In PCs, volume outgrew the market, which as a whole is experiencing a recovery, by over 13 points, and the group hit an all-time record PC market share of 24.9%. This means one in every four PCs built in the world is a Lenovo PC – cementing Lenovo’s position as the worldwide number one in PCs.
These strong results, says the company, are driven by innovation, a customer-centric product portfolio and continuing focus on operational excellence. This strategy enables the company to outgrow the market significantly across high-growth and premium categories including Workstation, Thin and Light, Visuals, Gaming PCs and Chromebook. Looking forward, the PC and Smart Device group will continue to drive premium-to-market growth and industry-leading profitability by focusing on premium segments as well as innovating in Smart IoT, commercial Smart IoT and developing new devices for homes and offices.
IDG’s second business unit, the Mobile Business Group (MBG), delivered another profitable quarter and improved pre-tax income by US$100 million for the 4th consecutive quarter. In the North America market, volume outgrew the market by more than 37 points and pre-tax income margin improved by over 14 points year-on-year. In the company’s Latin America stronghold, volume has grown with or above the market for 11 quarters.
The Data Center Group (DCG) continued to improve profitability year-on-year for the eighth consecutive quarter. Storage revenue grew more than 80% year-on-year and Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) continued to grow at a double-digit rate year-on-year. Overall revenue declined due to a small number of large cloud customers reducing their purchasing after rapid infrastructure growth over the past year and a lower average unit revenue due to declining component prices. In High Performance Computing the company extended the Number 1 position in the Top 500 Supercomputer list to 173 systems across 20 markets – continuing to support ground-breaking scientific research and applications around the world.
The company says it will continue to expand as a full stack Data Center player, driving SDI, storage, networking, HPC, AI, IoT, service and solution led sales while strengthening in-house design and manufacturing capability for Hyperscale.
Project prepares Africa’s youth for the future
A partnership between the African Union and VMware is hoped to give new impetus to preparing Africa’s youth for the future, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK
The woman in the regal red dress and gold turban cuts a dramatic figure as she sweeps through the halls of the Fira Gan Via expo centre in Barcelona, Spain. She stands out in sharp contrast to thousands of hipsters in hoodies and businessmen in dark suits thronging the halls. But she is on a mission that will bring true relevance to the work of many of these conference delegates
She is Sara Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for HR, Science & Technology at the African Union Commission. Agbor is at the VMworld cloud conference to sign a memorandum of understanding with the event hosts, VMware. They are formalising a shared commitment to developing the next generation of digital leaders in Africa in a project called Virtualise Africa.
When Agbor began her career as as a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon in the early 2000s, the last thing she worried about was technological infrastructure. But fast forward a decade and a half, and she talks of little else.
Agbor is passionate about preparing Africa’s youth for the future. Her focus is still on education, but she discusses it in terms far removed from her PhD in English literature.
“Nelson Mandela said it very well, that education is the greatest weapon that can transform the world, but what kind of education are we talking about?” she poses the question after signing the memorandum.
“We’re talking about the education that can lead to the future of work. It is no longer about us having degrees in history and degrees in English, etcetera. It is no longer important for kids to go to school, just for the sake of going to school and having certificates. It is very important for them to go to school that will give them jobs so that they can become job creators, rather than job seekers.”
To that end, VMware will work with the African Union to bring to the continent the VMware IT Academy, a network of educational institutions that provides students with access to learning certification opportunities and hands-on lab experiences with VMware technologies.
VMware is the world’s leading developer of software for managing data centres and businesses’ adoption of cloud computing, generally referred to as virtualisation. It is a strategic partner of cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Oracle, which are all setting up data centres in South Africa, and creating thousands of jobs across the continent. As such, VMware technology skills and certification represent a direct path into careers that are tailor-made for the digital revolution sweeping the world.
Everline Wangu Kamau-Migwi, channel lead for VMware in East Africa, responsible for setting up the VMware IT Academy in the region, says that the agreement is an outcome of the company’s quest to use “technology as a force for good”.
“We asked how we as VMware can play a role in bridging the digital skills in in the African continent,” she says. “Hence Virtualise Africa was born, with a key mandate around education. We’ve partnered with learning institutions, starting with universities, a little over 30 in Africa, where we are now giving them material, learning resources, and labs, and they’re able to access this using a methodology called ‘train the trainer’.
“It focuses on the faculty, on the staff, for sustainability of the program within the learning institutions. Appreciating the fact that VMware virtualisation is the core of cloud computing, this is a technology that is well-appreciated across Africa. But we find that we are not moving at the pace we need to, especially in the adoption of emerging technologies, because we don’t have those skills.
“VMware also has a huge ecosystem with both a partner and customer ecosystem. So we looked at how we can leverage this ecosystem and ensure that those students who are graduating are able to innovate, are employable, and can be enterprising while doing that.”
Globally, around 550 institutions are part of the programme, with the University of South Africa the first in this country coming on board. VMware also supplies licenses to several thousand institutions around the world to teach the curriculum with its products and solutions.
Enter the African Union. It has 55 member states, and the bulk of their populations are youths.
“We call it a demographic asset,” says Agbor. “But this demographic asset can also be a demographic liability or a demographic time bomb, if we did not put in place the right resources to capture the mind of the African youth. Over 200 million African youth are unemployed. Many have certificates, but they do not have a job.
“As a result, there is no dream, there is no hope. So now they migrate, looking for the European dream, the Canadian dream or the American dream. But there is an African dream.”
Read more about the AU’s agenda for 2063.
Beware biometrics, and other digital dangers
Traditional passwords nowadays are a weak point as data leaks happen quite often. More and more companies decide to change the approach and adopt biometrics. However, no one is immune to identity theft and there already have been several actual cases of losing biometric data.
To raise awareness on the topic and show that such data requires strong security regulations, cybersecurity company Kaspersky has distinguished several dangers of unsecured biometric data:
- Stranger-danger. In order to set face or touch recognition, the system usually requires one sample of a finger or a face. Hence, it is possible for a user to fail authorisation due to lighting conditions or such changes in their appearance as glasses, beards, make-up or aging. On the contrary, it allows cybercriminals to steal this sample and use it according to their malicious aims.
- A password for a lifetime. It is not a problem to change a password consisting of numbers and letters, but once you lose your biometric data you lose it forever. The problem with touch recognition can partially be solved by leaving only 2-4 fingerprints, leaving others for emergency cases, but it is still not safe enough.
- A digital locker. Existing «digital lockers» rely on cloud-based help – biometric matching usually happens on the server side. If successful, the server provides the decryption key to the client. That increases a risk of a massive data leak – a server hack might lead to the compromising of biometric data.
- Biometrics in real life. There are two cases when an ordinary person can encounter biometric authentication. Firstly, banks try to adopt palm scans on ATMs as well as voice authentication on phone-based service desks. Secondly, individual electronic devices use touch and face recognition. However, biometric security is not yet fully developed and there are such constraints as CPU power, sensor price and physical dimensions, so some users have to sacrifice system robustness – some devices can be fooled by a wet paper with fingerprints generated using an ordinary printer or gelatin cast.
To secure biometric data, Kaspersky has recommended:
- employing stringent security measures against breaches of traditional logins;
- for businesses it is needed to improve ATM design so as to prevent the installation of skimmers or establishing control over the security of ATM hardware and software.
As for biometric identification technology in general, Kaspersky has recommended that, for now, it should be using it as a secondary protection method that complements other security measures, but does not replace them completely.