Let’s talk innovation: Big Blue

By : |November 24, 2003 0

Rahul Gupta

MUMBAI: Call it the battle royale for the #1 position in the country’s notebook market, but the Big Blue prefers to call it ‘technology innovation’. The recent launch of the two notebook ranges–ThinkPad R50 and T41–by IBM in India not only aims at refreshing the market, it also for the first time brings leading global biggies–Intel, Microsoft and Cisco–together on a single platform to support the technical innovation derived by IBM.

The new notebooks features, what the company calls as IBM Active Protection System or the world’s first automatic hard drive protection technology, designed specifically to prevent hard drive crashes and data loss. The new security feature incorporated in the operating systems by Microsoft will not only boost notebook performance, it would also ensure users don’t lose critical data despite hard disk failure.

The products also boast of Intel’s Centrino Mobile Technology that gives them built-in wireless capability beside the much talked about Hyper Threading technology. What’s more, IBM has announced that all its new wireless models would be compatible with Cisco wireless access points.

That IBM plans to take its notebook technology innovation to the segments that matter most–big educational institutes and corporate where anyway it has a big market share–is a given, but will all this really help the company acquire the #1 position in India, which it has been eyeing for quite some time now? Ask IBM India personal computing division VP Alok Ohrie and he would say that the company is not into the number game. “It doesn’t matter much where we are and where we will be. The important thing for us is to update our products with new technologies,” he reiterated.

According to latest IDC report, while IBM enjoys the second position with 28 percent market share after HP, which has a 31 percent share of the Indian notebook market, the company has not been able make much dent in the lower-priced market traditionally served by Toshiba and HP. By not getting into the price war and into the sub-Rs 50,000-category notebook, IBM has also conveyed that it would prefer to remain the pricey darling of the corporate world where the dominance of ThinkPads has been typically boosting up its bottom lines. Its strategy finds support amongst certain analysts who suggest that in a country like India where notebook penetration is one fourth of PC penetration, it’s a better idea to target the niche segment.

(CyberMedia News Service)

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