Lenovo: Slow PC market? Not to worry, we also have smartphones

A slowing PC market means Lenovo, the market leader according to one analytics firm, is no worry. It is, however, "good reason" to jump into the booming smartphone market.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Don't worry too much about Lenovo. It has a trick up its sleeve. 

Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker by shipments -- at least according to Gartner, though IDC disputes the figures, as does HP -- knows that the ecomonic outlook for PC sales doesn't look good. It's the industry's worst present secret. PC sales are down across the board and PC makers are panicking -- particularly HP and Dell, for which outside the PC building sector, they have little to go by, except printers and still developing software-as-a-service solutions.

But according to a Bloomberg interview, Milko Van Duijl, Lenovo's president for Asia-Pacific and Latin America, said the firm has another outlet for its inventive and creative streak.

Simply put: if the PC market continues to slow, despite an expected pick-up in the coming months thanks to Windows 8's release, the firm will refocus its efforts on smartphones -- something HP is already made clear it wants to follow suit with.

Lenovo is already a smartphone giant in China, holding second place in the Chinese market. With a 11.5 percent of the market, Lenovo beats Apple's stake in the country with its iPhone offering. For the rest of the world, its impact is minimal at best. Duiji said: "Our goal is definitely to get to number one and not only to take smartphones into the China market but also into emerging markets."

"There is definitely a slowdown in the market in all parts of the world, however, we are so strong in China that was a good reason for us to expand into smartphones." After all, that's where Nokia still generates most of its revenue from: feature phones in the emerging market, while Lenovo hints that smaller, simpler smartphones may appeal to developing states and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations.

However, the PC maker's plans to sell a smartphone offering does not include the U.K., according to reports. Confirmed launch markets include China, Russia, Indonesia -- a hotbed of smartphone market activity, the Philippines and Vietnam. 

In the Bloomberg interview, Duijl said the firm "isn't going to..." to develop its own operating system, and will stick with Android for its mobile platform, and Windows 8 for its desktop and notebook solutions.

"We've seen that the Android tablets didn't really take off, and we never thought they would in the commercial space. But now that Windows 8 is coming out, we think that is a logical extension from PCs to tablets," Duijl added. 

Lenovo, keen to push beyond the desktop space, also recognizes that the money to be made is in the cloud and store offerings.

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