Lenovo takes aim at mobile Internet, China market

on March 03 2010 2:08 PM

China's Lenovo, the world's No.4 personal computer maker, said it will develop more products this year for the mobile Internet, attempting to gain ground after a late start into the hot smartphone market.

Lenovo entered the mobile phone sector last year when it repurchased a mobile unit it sold less than two years earlier. It had originally sold the business to focus on its core PC operations, but jumped back into the mobile market recognizing the growing convergence between smartphones and PCs.

Lenovo entered the smartphone market with a thin, touchscreen device based on Google Inc's Android operating system, which it debuted at the Consumer Electronics Shows in January.

In doing so, it joined a growing cast of traditional handset makers such as Dell and Acer using the Google platform as they seek new opportunities in smartphones.

We launched a number of mobile Internet products at CES and we'd like to be more productive in the segment, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told reporters on the sidelines of the opening session of the annual Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on Wednesday.

Yang also said Lenovo aims to gain market share in its home China market, where it now controls about a third of the market, as it returns to its roots as an emerging market specialist following its less than successful purchase of IBM's PC assets.

The Chinese market is growing very fast, he said. I'm confident we can grow our market share.

Lenovo previously said its China sales jumped 41 percent in October-December as it and its peers benefited from China's 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus spending package, partly aimed at encouraging the public sector and rural consumers to buy more electronic products.

A rising profit margin in the final 2009 quarter helped Lenovo post net profit of $79.5 million, reversing a net loss of $96.7 million a year ago, marking a fledgling turnaround for the biggest player in China's PC market.

(Editing by Ken Wills and Ian Geoghegan)

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