IBM ThinkPad Passes the 20 Million Laptop Sold Mark

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ThinkPad R Series

IBM just announced today that they have sold 20 million ThinkPad notebooks since the introduction of the popular line 11 years ago in 1992.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 6, 2003–IBM announced today that it has sold its 20 millionth ThinkPad notebook PC, another milestone in ThinkPad’s long reign as a technology leader in mobile computing, making ThinkPad the best-selling notebook brand ever.

Since its introduction in 1992, an era that began with the famous “clamshell” notebook design, ThinkPad has delivered many “firsts,” including the first notebook with each of the following: color LCD panel, 14-inch LCD, full-sized keyboard, and removable hard drive. While IBM’s competitors have adapted many of these technologies to make them standard features for mobile computing users everywhere, ThinkPad innovation continues to deliver more industry firsts. ThinkPad’s latest “first” is IBM’s Active Protection System, a new ThinkVantage Technology introduced just last month that helps protect a system’s hard drive, and responds much the same way an air bag protects a vehicle’s passengers.

“ThinkPad is the standard-bearer for notebook computing, and that’s because we listened to our customers from the very beginning,” said Fran O’Sullivan, general manager, IBM Personal Computing Division. “We listen to our customers. Find out what they like and value from a notebook system, and then we add what we learn to the next round of products. They get better and better every year, but the basic ThinkPad attributes remain unchanged — innovation, reliability, performance, security, ease of management, ease of use.”

The 20 millionth IBM ThinkPad notebook, is an Intel Centrino mobile technology-based system featuring 512 MB RAM of memory, a 1.7 GHz processor (1), a 60 GB hard drive (2) and an extended battery life of up to eight and a half hours (3) by combining the system battery with an optional second battery. The ThinkPad T41 is one of the industry’s thinnest and lightest 14-inch notebooks, at a little less than one-inch thick and with a travel weight (4) at four and a half pounds.

“From the first Intel processors to our new Intel Centrino mobile technology, IBM ThinkPad has been a pioneer in delivering leading-edge computing capabilities,” said Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and co-general manager, Intel Mobile Platforms Group. “The shipment of the 20 millionth IBM ThinkPad, based on Intel mobile technology, represents a milestone in the richness and popularity of the mobile computing experience.”

With over 1,000 industry awards worldwide since its inception, IBM ThinkPad notebooks have been used in numerous Space Shuttle missions, under the oceans, and carried in chilling cold during several climbs to K2 and Mt. Everest. An IBM ThinkPad notebook is also included in the permanent design collection of the Modern Museum of Art in New York

Other Notable ThinkPad Firsts:

— First notebook with 10.4″ color Thin Film Transistor display and TrackPoint pointing device: ThinkPad 700C (1992).

— First notebook with integrated CD-ROM: ThinkPad 755CD (1994).

— First “ultraportable” notebook: ThinkPad 560 (1996).

— First notebook with integrated DVD-ROM: ThinkPad 770 (1997).

— First “thin and light” notebook: ThinkPad 600 (1998).

— First mini-notebook, under three pounds; with standard ports and 95% of full-size keyboard: ThinkPad 240 (1999).

— First notebook with a keyboard “nighttime” light: ThinkPad i Series (1999).

— First notebook with integrated Wi-Fi certified wireless LAN: ThinkPad i series (2000).

— First notebook with embedded security chip: ThinkPad T20 (2001).

— First notebook with extended battery life of up to 11 hours: ThinkPad X31 (March 2003).

— First notebook with Active Protection System (“airbag” for hard drive): ThinkPad T41 (October 2003).

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