Chinese company Lenovo plans to invest billions of dollars over the next five years in research and development of new technology, including products and services related to the rapidly growing metaverse.
Lenovo said in a statement last week that research and development staff at the world’s largest personal computer company will work on “technology that will help companies take advantage of the metaverse.” The company says the investment should help “companies of all sizes take advantage of new and emerging technologies such as the metaverse.”
The Beijing-based company will spend about $15.7 billion on new technology-related research and development over the next five years, it is reported. Nikki Asia. Lenovo said in its statement that it will double its investment in research and development and add 12,000 professionals over the next three years to cloud-related research. Cloud technology is a potential component of metaverse development.
The metaverse refers to an emerging but explosive virtual world where people work and play through avatars. The metaverse market was valued at about $45 billion in 2020 and could grow to $596 billion by 2027, according to Brandessence Market Research forecasts. Consulting points to the booms in mixed reality and online education that are fueling the growth of the metaverse.
Lenovo hasn’t done much with the metaverse yet, notes Brady Wang, co-director of Taipei with market research firm Counterpoint Research. The company can play on existing strengths to develop servers and cloud-related technology for the metaverse, he says.
Wang says that other metaverses, such as networks and cryptocurrencies, may take off faster if Lenovo invests directly in outside companies rather than doing its own research and development. “Every company differs in its approach and it is not easy to be completely self-reliant,” he adds. “We are not going to think that connectivity is very good because Lenovo is not a connectivity company, so they will need to invest in it. For virtual reality, same thing.”
Lenovo did not respond to a request for comment on the company’s ambitions for the metaverse.
Sean Su, an independent technology sector analyst in Taiwan, says mastering the individual components of Metaverse rather than pursuing an all-in-one virtual platform will likely have a “bigger impact” for the likes of Lenovo.
Su says the use of virtual reality to interpret data will stand out in particular. Otherwise, he says, Lenovo’s strategy would be “just like everyone else, a hunting rifle and a prayer they’re going to hit something great.”
Lenovo’s global sales of personal computers launched around 2012 continue to top the market share charts. It was the world’s largest PC vendor in the first quarter with a market share of 22.7%, according to IDC data. Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing was a billionaire until 2016.