Mon, Nov 05, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Lenovo eyeing growth in China smartphone sector

BIGGER PRESENCE:With the continued decline in the PC market, increasing numbers of manufacturers are branching out into the lucrative smartphone market

Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) has seen rapid growth in China’s smartphone market and aims at raising its share in the high-end market by cooperating with Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科), a Taipei-based research firm said recently.

DRAMeXchange Technology Inc, a research arm of advisory firm TrendForce (集邦科技), said in a report on Thursday that Lenovo led all Chinese smartphone makers in terms of shipments in the third quarter of this year.

Altogether, Chinese smartphone makers shipped about 60 million units in the July-to-September period, an increase of 8 percent from the second quarter.

Lenovo, which entered the smartphone sector only in the second quarter of this year, led all local vendors with 9 million units shipped, followed by Huawei Technologies Co’s (華為) 8.5 million units and ZTE Corp’s (中興) 7.5 million units, the report said.

In comparison to other PC makers that have turned to the smartphone market, Lenovo has a stronger pricing strategy and established sales channels, the report said.

EXPANSION

By meeting demand from various consumer groups, Lenovo is strengthening its market share and brand acceptance in the run-up to the company’s attempt to expand through strategies such as adding higher-priced models to its lineup and offering its products internationally, the report added.

As part of an attempt to strengthen its presence in the high-end market and expand to the global market, next year Lenovo may introduce new quad-core and dual-core chips, developed in cooperation with MediaTek, the report said.

The computer maker appears to be determined not to miss the boat on smartphones as the market is growing fast and has a lot of potential.

Lenovo and other Chinese companies are becoming a key part of the smartphone industry. Morgan Stanley forecast in July that China’s smartphone shipments will likely hit the range of between 150 million to 170 million units this year, thanks to rapid upgrades of feature phones.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese companies are also trying to stay ahead in this competitive industry by offering special features to their phones.

Last month, Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc (宏碁) launched its first smartphone supporting its own personal cloud service in Taiwan as part of efforts to boost its smartphone sales next year. Carrying a price tag of NT$14,900 (US$510) in Taiwan, the cloud service-enabled S500 will go on sale in other Asian countries later this year, the company said.

HYBRID

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) also launched its second-generation hybrid smartphone last month. The 4.7 inch Padfone 2 can be combined with a 10.1 inch tablet to provide the integrated functions of a mobile phone and a tablet computer.

Asustek said the Padfone lineup is seen as a “restart point” for its smartphone business and the company is dedicated to making its products more user-friendly.

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