Or as Shim wrote in a research note in February shortly after Amelio's departure: "There has been the sense that Lenovo has been slow and poorly positioned to respond to PC market conditions."
2. Overestimating its brand. Riding its IBM research and development heritage, "Lenovo's initial strategy when it went into the retail market was to try to get paid a buck for its innovation," Shim said. The problem, he said, was IBM's launch of its Idea lineup in January 2008 coincided with the rise of low-cost netbooks, which put pricing pressure not just on laptops, but all consumer PCs.
As a result, retailers were loath to make room on their limited shelf space for what they saw as pricey Lenovo offerings, when cheaper PCs from HP and Acer abounded, Shim said.
3. Failure to grasp the hot netbook market. Like other large vendors, Lenovo was several months late to the netbook party. Unlike HP or Dell, Lenovo hasn't been able to catch up, despite introducing critically praised, technically advanced models that were the envy of competitors, such as the first Nvidia Ion-powered netbook, the $499 ideaPad S12. Lenovo remains locked out of the top five in this fast-growing market, too, according to IDC.
In a media presentation Monday announcing six new consumer PCs, Liu Jun, president of Lenovo's consumer PC business, said Lenovo was in a good position to deliver lower-priced computers than its rivals due to its proximity to Chinese-based suppliers. But Shim said "that is a difficult argument to defend given that every vendor is sourcing out of Asia and Taiwan today."
What can Lenovo do? Enderle said it's all about execution in local sales channels.
Lenovo "needs to continue to put international strength into the consumer side and mirror what companies like Acer have done to develop unique sales channel and product competence in each key region," he said. "They are on their way towards doing this, but it is a long road."
Shim said Lenovo needs to continue delivering lower-priced offerings, such as the $499 IdeaCentre Q700 all-in-one, or its $249 Q100 net-top.
Liu, meanwhile, said the worst is over for Lenovo, noting that the company has boosted year-over-year shipments in the last three quarters, with sales in 76 countries today. Its share of the consumer PC market worldwide is now 5.5%, according to IDC figures shown by Lenovo on Monday, its highest share ever.