January 12, 2009, 10:13 AM — Lenovo, one of the largest PC vendors, just announced the launch of an online shop for diret sales of PCs. The shop, which is now live, is targeted at smaller business, SOHO customers and consumers.
Naturally, this has caused some concern among the channel, but resellers shouldn't be too surprised. Really, how many VARs are making a living reselling PCs? Not very many, I'd guess. At best, reselling PCs is a supplementary income stream for most. And if you're counting on reselling PCs to pay the bills, you better get with the times--that's a dog that's not going to hunt any more.
According to reports, although Lenovo has taken sales direct through the online shop, they are throwing a bone to VARs by referring orders of more than five units to partners. Does this mean that, as according to some critics, Lenovo considers the channel as an "afterthought"? Hardly, this is just pure market realisim, and I expect many more PC manufacturers to follow the same model over the next couple years.