Lenovo Group (聯想), the world’s fourth-largest personal computer maker, expects the market for tablet computers and other mobile and Internet-connected devices to expand so rapidly that it is creating a product group devoted solely to these products.
The company, which is based in Beijing and has US headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, said yesterday that its new mobile Internet and digital home division will focus on creating tablets, smartphones and Web-connected home electronics, such as television sets.
Given the enormous popularity of Apple Inc’s iPad, which was released last April, analysts expect tablet sales to jump this year.
Technology research firm Gartner Inc expects that 55 million tablet computers will be shipped this year, most of them still iPads, but there will be room for rivals to vie for sales of the remaining 10 million to 15 million devices.
Lenovo has not said if and when the product will come to the US.
Lenovo’s new unit will be headed by Liu Jun (劉軍), who has been responsible for product development as the head of Lenovo’s product group. Peter Hortensius, who had run the company’s Think product group, is taking Liu’s old post.
Hortensius said on Friday that the company decided to split tablets, smartphones and other Web-centric mobile and home devices into their own group so there is a clear focus on these electronics at Lenovo’s senior level.
The products seem different enough from PCs that it is worth focusing on them separately, he said.
In the US, the first products consumers are likely to see from this new focus would probably be tablets, he said.
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