Lenovo To Split Groups In April, Positioning Think To Better Compete With Apple

Big news out of the Lenovo camp this morning. As the company prepares for CES, the public should start preparing for a very different Lenovo starting in April. Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing sent out an e-mail to employees over the weekend that made clear that Lenovo would be dividing its business into two units: Lenovo and Think. It's probably a wise move. IBM's former ThinkPad brand took on a life of its own a long time ago, and Lenovo may serve itself well to break Think off and let that brand flourish on its own.

Yuanqing seems to think that the split will allow the company to focus more effort on moving Think-labeled products to high-end purchasers, while Lenovo products can concentrate on emerging markets and those who prefer cheaper, lower specced products. Not surprisingly, a major driver in the decision was Apple. Yuanqing specifically stated that breaking off the Think brand could perhaps position Lenovo to better compete with Apple. In truth, that's an interesting point to make, given that Apple's market share in the desktop world is extremely low, but no doubt its laptops are becoming more and more attractive given the halo impact that the iPad and iPhone line is having.

The Lenovo unit will be tasked with focusing on "consumers and small businesses, as well as mobile devices and phones." The two units will still operate under the Lenovo Group name, and Yuanqing seems to think that corporate responsibilities would remain the same. The changes will go into play on April 1st -- no joke about that.