Skip to main content

Lenovo on a roll: Will the world's new top PC supplier further boost its mobile arm with BlackBerry bid?

Striding past HP, Chinese tech outfit Lenovo has become the world's biggest PC manufacturer, but it will perhaps be even more pleased that its tablet and mobile sales combined to surpass shipments of traditional PCs for the first time ever in Q1.

Originally a laptop and desktop maker, Lenovo has increasingly transferred its focus to mobile devices in response to overall market trends.

In the last year, smartphone and tablet sales at the company jumped 41 per cent, leading to a better than expected earnings of $174 million (£111.7 million) in the quarter, a 23 per cent overall year-on-year growth. Revenue hit $8.8 billion (£5.65 billion), a 10 per cent increase.

As well as overtaking Hewlett-Packard to become the worlds largest PC provider, the company also became the fourth largest supplier of mobile devices globally and, showing the increasing importance of the Chinese market, took second place domestically.

"While driving profitable growth in our core PC business, we are rapidly transforming our company into a PC Plus company," said Yang Yuanqing, the company's chairman and CEO.

"The PC Plus market requires fast, efficient innovation as it moves quickly from premium products to mainstream ones and from mature market domination to emerging market hyper growth. This kind of market plays to Lenovo's proven strengths. Lenovo is now better positioned than our competition to take advantage of these clear trends."

Laptop sales at the firm, which owns the ThinkPad brand, remained strong, accounting for 52 per cent of the company's revenue.

In an interesting move, particularly for a Chinese company, during the quarter, Lenovo opened a manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina.

The factory is capable of producing some of Lenovo's newest Think-branded products, including the ThinkCentre M92p Tiny desktop, the ThinkPad Tablet 2, and the ThinkPad Helix convertible ultrabook, the company said.

Now that BlackBerry is reportedly up for sale, news of Lenovo's strong showing will no doubt reignite rumours that the Chinese firm is a strong candidate to takeover the ailing Canadian company.

Way back in January 2013, Lenovo was linked with a takeover of BlackBerry, with CFO Wong Wai Ming telling the World Economic Forum: "We are looking at all opportunities - RIM and many others. We'll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along,"