With PC and other tech device sales projected to remain flat or grow only slightly over the next three years, Lenovo may now more than ever have to rely on acquisitions to grow it’s world-leading PC market share.

As usual at CES last week, Lenovo unleashed a wave of new products and emerging high-tech plays, from VR headsets to high-end gaming computers and much more. But top exec Yang Yuanqing couldn’t escape a pesky questions:

  • If and when the world’s top PC maker will strike a deal with Fujitsu?
  • Will Lenovo buy Samsung’s PC business?

Joshua Ogawa. a reporter for the Nikkei news service in Japan, managed to track down Yang in Las Vegas in search of answers. He got some interesting ones.

“We are negotiating. But we don’t have a deadline,” Yang told Ogawa about the Fujitsu talks.

“If one plus one can be larger than two, we will take the opportunity.”

That’s hardly the endorsement one would expect of a deal, given that Fujitsu’s top executive Tatsuya Tanaka declared in December that a merger announcement was expected in the first quarter of 2017.

The deal being discussed involves Lenovo and Fujitsu working together to sell PCs.

Lenovo has relied more and more on acquisitions and partnerships over the past five years to help grow its global market share to 20 percent. For example, a Lenovo deal with NEC to form a joint venture (now largely controlled by Lenovo).

But sales are falling, and research firm Gartner predicted at the same CES sale that the future hardly looks brighter.

Here’s Gartner’s prediction about traditional PC sales totals worldwide:

  • 2016: 219 million
  • 2017: 205 million
  • 2018: 198 million
  • 2019: 193 million


Only ultramobiles, or “premium” laptops, are forecast to grow. Lenovo is making big plays there with Yogas and more, but will that be enough to return growth?

Meanwhile, HP sales have been surging following the split into two groups. Don’t be surprised of HOP climbs past Lenovo as No. 1 when fourth quarter sales figures coming in.

Then there are the rumors that surfaced in November about Lenovo in talks to buy Samsung’s PC business for $850 million.

“The only thing I can tell you is that the PC industry will continue to consolidate,” Yang said when asked about the Samsung rumors.

As for PCs in general, Yang said that sales “will become more stable.”

Shareholders don’t like “stable.” They want growth.

If they liked stable, they’d invest in bonds.