Lenovo 'in talks' on smartphone joint venture

Summary:The PC maker is branching further into mobile devices, with a joint venture with an unnamed, unknown smartphone maker currently in negotiation stages.

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Image: CNET

Lenovo, the PC maker that continues to defy market share figures despite an ever-slumping market, said on Tuesday that it is in early talks with an unnamed partner to participate in a smartphones joint venture.

According to the Reuters news agency, Japanese media first reported that the company is in talks with NEC to focus on manufacturing and distributing smartphones.

NEC declined to comment on the joint venture rumors, but did reportedly note that it is still experiencing financial troubles. A company spokesperson told the publication that it is "considering various opportunities," but did not elaborate.

NEC was reportedly mulling selling its mobile phone unit to Lenovo back in March . NEC confirmed that the talks were going on, but that they ultimately collapsed with "nothing [being] decided."

The phone maker ditched 281.1 million shares in Lenovo , generating around $227.7 million at the time, in a bid to bolster its ailing financial position.

Lenovo did not give any further details, but did not confirm or deny the media reports.

The PC maker, which is just shy of taking over HP in market share, said in late May that its intention is to focus on the smartphone maker within the next year. It continues to diversify its portfolio away from PCs , which are for the most part unaffected by the global decline in shipments.

The company has already seen strong sales in China, with sales rapidly approaching the 5 million mark per quarter in the country. It has already surpassed Apple, Nokia, and Huawei in market share , taking 13 percent in the country, behind Samsung's 16.7 percent.

It also brought phones to Malaysia , a secret, albeit booming, economy for smartphone makers, earlier this year, following the announcement that its smartphone division had finally turned profitable .

Topics: Smartphones, Lenovo

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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