Lenovo is primarily a computer manufacturer as the makers of Ideapad and Thinkpad brands. But this past year they’ve edged their way into the smartphone market and even released an Android Phone in China: the Lenovo OPhone on China Mobile. You might be surprised to learn that Lenovo is the #3 smartphone brand in China and the #1 domestic brand in that country.
Unfortunately for Lenovo, they don’t actually own all of the company which makes Lenovo’s phones – it’s done by a spinoff company called Lenovo Mobile Communications Technology Ltd. Seeing the potential in the mobile market moving forward, Lenovo doesn’t want to miss out on any opportunities and they’ve just purchased the company from a Private Equity group for $200 million dollars.
Here is the full press release:
Targeting Mobile Internet Market Lenovo to Acquire Mobile Handset Business
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lenovo Group today announced that it is acquiring the entire interest of Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology Ltd. from a group of investors led by Hony Capital, the private equity arm of Legend Holdings. Consideration of the acquisition is approximately US$200 million in cash and Lenovo shares. Today’s announcement signals that Lenovo is gearing up its efforts in the burgeoning mobile Internet market in China. Lenovo Mobile now ranks No.3 in China’s mobile handset market and is the No.1 domestic brand. The transaction is conditional upon Lenovo independent shareholder approval.
Convergence between the personal computing and mobile handset industry has been a key technology trend over the past several years worldwide. The two technologies today provide very different user experiences that are evolving and combining to create new generations of devices, applications and Internet services. In addition, China is entering a high growth phase. Driven by the government and telecom service carriers, the demand for mobile Internet devices has created a huge market.
Industry analysts project the China mobile Internet market will grow to exceed US$16 billion by 2014, fueled by the rapid evolution of 3G mobile broadband and accompanying multimedia Internet services.
As a global leader in IT industry, Lenovo has been following the business opportunity in the fast growing mobile Internet market. With this acquisition, Lenovo aims to maximize the combined synergies of the two companies in product innovation, lean manufacturing, strong distribution channels and retail presence to lead the market for new mobile handheld devices in China.
Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo Group, said: “As Lenovo’s global PC business continues to make steady progress, we view mobile Internet as a key growth opportunity moving forward globally. Lenovo has prepared itself in this area. We have developed first class products with excellent hardware and operating systems integration. We will launch these innovative new products in China soon. With Lenovo’s brand, strong channel and excellent operation platform, we’re confident in our ability to execute our mobile Internet strategy and make it our next growth engine after the China business.”
Lenovo Mobile has an experienced and successful leadership team in the China mobile industry, healthy financial performance, an extensive channel network, and good relationships with domestic telecom carriers in China.
Lenovo divested Lenovo Mobile in March 2008 in order to refocus on the Group’s core PC business and this acquisition reflects the changed market conditions of the past 18 months as described above.
I’m hoping this enables/encourages the company to ramp up their Android efforts and bring some of those Lenovo Android Phones outside China’s borders!