When we read about books about several years of transition of competition, we take it for granted that some brands can quickly take over the other brand, but in reality, since that happens slowly, we are also slow to recognize the shift. IBM laptop vs Dell laptop is an example.
Previous Perception of Quality and Service
I always consider Dell as the brand of “bad quality + good service”. The image was there since I started to use Dell desktop and laptop in 1998 in Microsoft. Dell’s computer parts break easily, but they offer second day on site service, and they are happy to exchange any part in their service period. I especially love their “service tag” design.
On the contrary, IBM’s ThinkPad series is of so good quality. I switched to IBM many years after I used Dell, and started to understand why so many people insist in buying IBM ThinkPad over Dell, even when it is much more expensive. It just gives people the feeling of safety – never breaks, and works as solid as stone. However, IBM’s service is so bad – I never saw an IBM service people, but I even know some Dell guy by name and face.
What about Now?
Today, the IBM ThinkPad quality goes down dramatically. I feel it is even worse than Dell. Meanwhile, Dell’s E-series gets better and better reputation. I heard about many good things about it (just as I heard about good things about Windows 7).
Now the competition becomes:
ThinkPad = Bad Quality + Bad Service
Dell = Good Quality + Good Service
Dell is also relatively cheaper than ThinkPad.
I won’t hesitate to bet on the result.
IBM vs Lenovo?
To correct what I wrote, ThinkPad is no longer IBM ThinkPad. It is Lenovo ThinkPad.