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Lenovo Launches Smartphone
The competition for smartphones and your ear is just about to get more competitive. Lenovo Group Ltd is making a global effort into tablets and ultrabooks, now expects to launch a smartphone in a lucrative U.S. market dominated by Apple Inc and Google Inc gadgets.
The No. 2 computer maker – China’s standard-bearer in consumer electronics – sells smartphones on its home turf but has yet to make inroads abroad, nor is it in any hurry to do so. “I think we will,” David Schmoock, Lenovo’s North American chief, said when asked if the company planned to launch a phone in the United States. “It’s more of an evolution over time,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Personal computer makers are increasingly looking to mobile devices such as smartphones to drive up razor-thin margins. Lenovo’s operating margin clocked in at 12.2 percent in the fiscal second quarter of last year.
The company, which has carved out a 7 percent share of the U.S. computer market, said it is in the process of establishing relationships with wireless carriers – AT&T, Sprint and Verizon – and distributors as it assesses the marketplace. Lenovo moved in 2009 to reacquire the cellphone business it had previously sold off, and launched the “LePhone” smartphone two years ago at CES. The device is still only available in its home market. Schmoock did not provide a timeframe for a U.S. launch but said the U.S. market still has room for more smartphone players.