TOKYO – Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, now sells more smartphones and tablets than computers.
That milestone, which the company announced Thursday, underlines the growing influence of Chinese companies like Lenovo in the shift from desktop to mobile computing. Now even Lenovo, which acquired the IBM PC business in 2005 and sells ThinkPad notebooks, is remaking itself for a post-PC era.
Lenovo said its sales of smartphones had more than doubled in the three months that ended June 30, to 11.4 million. The company also sold 1.5 million tablet computers.
Executives said Lenovo had benefited from a structural shift in the smartphone business, where the high end, dominated by Apple and Samsung Electronics, is showing signs of saturation. Meanwhile, sales of less expensive handsets made by Lenovo and other Chinese companies, like Huawei and ZTE, are growing more rapidly.
“The recent change in the market favors Lenovo and our business model,” Yang Yuanqing, chief executive of Lenovo, said in a conference call with analysts. “The market is shifting from the premium part to the mainstream. It is shifting from the mature markets to the emerging markets.”
Lenovo was the fourth-largest maker of smartphones worldwide in the second quarter, according to IDC, a research firm, with a market share of 4.7 percent, up from 3.1 percent a year earlier.
The company’s smartphone business relies heavily on China, which accounts for about 80 percent of sales, but Lenovo is trying to expand its global presence.
On Thursday, Lenovo executives declined to comment on speculation about a possible bid for BlackBerry, which has put itself up for sale. But Lenovo made it clear that it did not plan to rely on internal growth alone.
New York Times