Lenovo boost on strong China smart device sales

Robust mainland sales see rising tech giant take 7 per cent share of world market

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 2:58am

Lenovo benefited from strong sales on the mainland to seize a 7 per cent share of the world market for "smart connected devices", behind leaders Samsung Technologies and Apple.

Market research firm IDC yesterday said this market represented total global shipments of personal computers, smartphones and media tablets.

Shipments rose 27.1 per cent last quarter to a record high of 303.6 million units, valued at US$140.4 billion.

Samsung posted a 21.8 per cent market share, while Apple cornered 15.1 per cent.

Lenovo, which recently unseated Hewlett-Packard as the world's No 1 supplier of personal computers, is expected to narrow the gap with Apple in total smart connected devices shipments in coming years due to strong sales on the mainland.

"That should not come as a surprise because Lenovo has sharpened its focus on the smartphone and media-tablet market segments, which helped it become one of the top brands for those devices in mainland China," said Kitty Fok, the general manager of IDC China.

IDC recently reported the mainland would account for 26.5 per cent of all smartphone shipments worldwide this year, surpassing the United States for the first time as the world's biggest market for this product. The US is forecast to hold a 17.8 per cent share this year.

Smartphones and media tablets are projected to make up 60.1 per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively, of the 1.2 billion total global shipments of smart connected devices this year, according to IDC. It also forecast shipments of smart connected devices will surpass 2.1 billion units in 2016, with a market value of US$796.7 billion worldwide.

Lenovo chairman and chief executive Yang Yuanqing last month predicted a period of "hyper growth" for the company's smartphone business, which is shipping a range of models on the mainland, in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

"Last quarter, we sold 8.6 million phones," Yang said.

Lenovo is confident its smartphones - run under the firm's nascent Mobile Internet and Digital Home (MIDH) division - would be profitable "in the next couple of quarters", Yang said.