Lenovo Group is adding a games service to offset falling PC sales and reduce reliance on its ThinkPad notebooks, as well as help the company overtake Samsung smartphones in China.
Called Lenovo Game World, the new service will include social networking features, software reviews, and gameplay tips, Bloomberg reported on Monday. It will offer popular titles such as Fruit Ninja for mobile devices such as Lenovo's IdeaPhone K900 which runs on Android OS.
Although Lenovo's appstore has garnered more than 1 billion downloads since it was launched in 2010, the company is looking at Game World to gain an edge in China which is the biggest market for handsets, the report noted.
Samsung currently has a Mandarin-language appstore in China offering free downloads such as Tencent's WeChat and Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds Star Wars. The site also sells games such as Where's My Water and Temple Run: Brave for 6.08 yuan (US$0.99) each.
Lenovo also teamed up with Shenzhen's iDreamsky Technology, a software publisher backed by the investment arm of Lenovo's parent, Legend Holdings. IDreamsky has distribution rights in China to popular games such as Temple Run 2, Fruit Ninja, and Jetpack Joyride.
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing last month said the company was planning to boost smartphone shipments by 72 percent to 50 million units this year and start selling handsets in the United States, according to Bloomberg. With more than US$3 billion in cash, the Chinese PC maker would consider acquisitions to help build its smartphone and software businesses, he added. "Mobile devices are not just hardware," Yang said. "There is a combination of hardware, software, applications, and content. We will further strengthen that area."
Research firm Analysys also said in a report last month the sales of mobile games in China would rise 55 percent to 9.6 billion yuan (US$1.56 million) this year, noted a separate report by China Daily.