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Lenovo Expanding Smartphones to Southeast Asia, Has No Immediate Plan to Enter Mature Markets

As the world’s largest PC-maker (according to Gartner), Lenovo continues its expansion in the smartphone market this year as it makes its move into Southeast Asia.

This morning, Lenovo made its plans clear that it will not be limiting itself to China, as it has done so far, and will instead look for growth in markets abroad. Beginning in November, they will begin to sell in the Indian market, where their PC business has expanded rapidly.

Last week Lenovo began selling smartphones in Indonesia and has already entered the Philippine and Vietnamese markets, according to Milko van Duijl, President of Asia-Pacific and Latin America. With indications that the PC market is in its waning phase, Lenovo is planning to make a greater push towards mobile.

There is little optimism, however, as analysts point out that the Chinese smartphone market itself is not yet profitable, so it is no small challenge to move overseas. According to IDC research, Lenovo occupies the second largest share of the domestic smartphone market at 11%, which is lower than Samsung’s 19% but higher than Apple’s and ZTE’s 10% percents.

Though he admits that profits will take time, Mr. van Duijl explained that margins were impressive and that they will be positioning the product differently than before, allowing for mid-priced phones instead of simply high and low-end solutions.

Initially, they will be pricing the phones between $199 and $349 models on the Indian market. All will utilize Android and support local languages and applications.

Mr. van Duijl stated that the company was not yet considering an entry into mature markets, claiming that they need more time to prepare.

In Indonesia last week, Lenovo launched five smartphone models with its partner Trikomsel, including their high-end model Ideaphone K860, which includes an 8-megapizel camera and a quad-core processor, as well as their Ideaphone A60 model, a 3.5 inch phone running Android 4.0.

This is a bold move for Lenovo, who will likely run into fierce competition from Nokia and Samsung. Still, it is an important step for a company rapidly looking for new avenues. After opening a $793 million dollar new factory in Wuhan specifically for smartphone operations, they should start putting it to good use.

Source: Sina Tech

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