Lenovo sells branded PCs
China's largest computer maker Lenovo (聯想) yesterday launched its own brand of computers in the Asia-Pacific region, signaling its intention to grow the Lenovo name outside its home base. The company said the Lenovo stamped desktop and notebook computers -- under the Lenovo 3000 family -- will be targeted for sale to small businesses. This will complement the company's best-selling Thinkpad notebooks and Think Center desktops which still bear the IBM brand and caters mainly to large companies. Lenovo Asia-Pacific general manager Andrew Sotiropoulos said small businesses account for 40 percent of the market opportunities in the region.
Sony to sell HD movies
Sony Corp, the world's second-biggest consumer electronics maker, will begin selling movies for its high-definition (HD) DVD players on May 23, in line with an earlier announcement to debut the Blu-ray format by this summer in the US market. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc will release eight titles including 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch and House of Flying Daggers, according to a statement. Samsung Electronics Co will begin selling the first Blu-ray disc player on the same day, the statement said. Toshiba Corp, Japan's fourth-biggest maker of electronics, will begin selling its competing HD DVD players in March. The Blu-ray disc can store at least five times more than the 4.7 gigabyte standard DVD, and Toshiba's HD DVD can store at least three times more content.
China to spend on airports
China will spend 140 billion Chinese yuan (US$17.4 billion) over the next five years to expand its airport infrastructure to meet a forecast 14 percent annual growth in domestic air traffic, a civil aviation official said yesterday. That is sharply higher than the 120 billion yuan the government spent on airport infrastructure in the 15 years from 1990 to last year. "By 2010, the mainland will have about 186 airports, up from 142 currently," said Gao Hongfeng, vice-minister of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC. Several existing airports will also be expanded to ease the pressure on capacity from rising traffic, he said at an aviation conference in Hong Kong. Gao also said China's fleet of commercial aircraft will grow to 1,580 by 2010, up from 863 currently, before reaching a total of about 4,000 aircraft by 2020.
Samsung raises forecast
Samsung Electronics Co, Asia's biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays and semiconductors, raised its sales forecast for this year, helped by demand for televisions and chips used in digital music players. Sales may increase 13 percent to 65 trillion won (US$67 billion), chief executive officer Yun Jong-yong said yesterday during the Suwon, South Korea-based company's annual general meeting for shareholders. Last month, Samsung forecast revenue of 63.6 trillion won for this year. Samsung is counting on events such as the World Cup to spur demand for products including televisions and liquid-crystal displays. Samsung is also betting on sales of NAND flash memory chips to rise, on demand from makers of digital music players such as Apple Computer Inc.