Computer Returns

The Chinese computer company, Lenovo, which bought IBM’s PC division in 2004, has announced it will be opening a small production facility in North Carolina next year.

The world’s No. 2 personal-computer maker says the PC production line now being built at a facility in Whitsett, N.C., will allow the company to become more responsive to U.S. corporate clients’ demand for flexible supplies and product customization. Although the cost of U.S. production will be higher compared with overseas production, an added benefit will be to raise Lenovo’s profile in the U.S., where it ranks fourth in market share by shipment.

[snip]

Lenovo executives said the new production line isn’t a temporary publicity stunt. “I believe this is the first of many steps to increase our production capability,” Mr. Schmoock said. “I’m very, very bullish about what I can get out of this facility.”

Gerry Smith, Lenovo’s head of global supply chain, said the decision to set up a production site in the U.S. is in line with the company’s broader strategy of localizing its production in major markets as much as possible.

The move is interesting simply as a reflection of the way that more customized manufacturing–as Lenovo’s higher-end computers can be–is localizing.

But there’s also an irony here, given all the attention on Apple’s production in China, most recently with the Foxconn riots coinciding with the release of the iPhone 5.

But what it does is present an alternative strategy, with products Cook knows well, as a way to compete better against (among others) Cook’s current company.

If Cook can only get those Apple maps to work he might even return to the Southeast to see how this works!

Before Tim Cook became VP and ultimately CEO of Apple, he worked at IBM–what would become Lenovo’s US headquarters–in North Carolina on manufacturing logistics. And this move is effectively a return of ThinkPad production to IBM’s former stomping grounds.

Apple’s still not going to bring device assembly to the US anytime soon. They sell generic widgets, not customized machines as this plant will produce. And even as expensive as their products are within segments, most of what they sell is still much cheaper than a loaded laptop.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

15 Responses to Computer Returns

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @emptywheel Whaaaa? You didn't stay up until Pat's first pick? I'd kill if the Cards on the clock took MSU QB, but don't think they will.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The last smart play the 49ers executed was to get rid of Kaptain Khaki. Since then, 0 fer 9ers
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Have to say, every time I see Roger Goodell at the podium, I want to massively heave.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @theurbansherpa No matter what, gotta grant the guy his performance, especially in the clutch. Other than that though, what a horrible human
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @theurbansherpa I don't know what that was that was the red ooze. But dude was on bad ass pitcher. Saw it up+close, inc. World Series, here
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @theurbansherpa: @bmaz Remember that day we thought it was blood from a torn ligament soaking into his sock, but it turned out it was hi…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Dunno about that, but if so, there is one less with the firing of Schilling https://t.co/YAVasEbuuU
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RMFifthCircuit It really is
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @RMFifthCircuit: This is possibly the worst man's shirt ever. https://t.co/PCUZMEFdH3
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @tomecurran @richeisen Uh, whut??
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Roger Goodell and the @NFL are out of control. https://t.co/zSfcYmCA4N
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Also, still, @ESPN's Jon Gruden is one of the most overrated humans on the face of the earth
4hreplyretweetfavorite
October 2012
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031