Lenovo has also struck a deal with Vodafone UK to ship these laptops with a built-in Vodafone 3G connection. Other contracts of this sort are likely to happen in additional countries. In the UK the first models to be released with the Ericsson modules will be part of the Thinkpad SL, T and X series. The laptops will give customers a free 30-day trial to Vodafone's 3G network after which they will need to pay a monthly subscription. However the GPS functionality works independently from a network connection.
Lenovo is the Fourth worldwide provider of PC. Market research firm IDC forecasts that in 2009, the SMB segment will command 31 percent of the total notebook (including ultraportables) PC market worldwide and will grow to 76.6 million in 2011.
As we noticed in a recent in-depth article on this topic, GPS technology is likely to get mainstream in laptops, but so far there is little software to take advantage of it.