Lenovo Seeks Perch in US Mobile Market

by Matt Klassen on June 3, 2013

In China Lenovo is a household name in mobile and computing technology, as ubiquitous as Samsung, Microsoft, and Apple are here. What’s strange, however, is that here the Lenovo brand isn’t as well known; despite the fact the Chinese company has established a strong presence in the North American computing industry since its landmark acquisition of IBM’s ThinkPad division almost a decade ago.

In fact, as the North American PC industry stagnates and PC-makers look for ways to stem to tide of lost revenue, Lenovo is the only brand to maintain its sales figures. But despite this success, things are getting increasingly difficult for Lenovo—and every other PC company—in our domestic market, as technology trends away from laptops towards tablets and other mobile devices.

Not one to be left behind by changing trends, Lenovo announced this week that it is changing its focus, transitioning into the ultra-competitive U.S.mobile market. But with the likes of Samsung and Apple already dominating the sector and backbenchers like Blackberry and Microsoft sharing the leftovers, is there any room for Lenovo to succeed?

While admittedly Lenovo’s PC sales were flat this last quarter, it remains the only established PC brand to not take a few steps backwards; and if you have to choose between stagnation and loss, I’m sure most would take the former. But Lenovo has seen the writing on the wall for the PC industry, and it’s telling all companies that the real ticket to success in the technology sector is blending computing with mobile technology, much the way Apple has done over recent years.

“Smartphones are our new opportunity,” Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told the Wall Street Journal. “As a public company you always have to consider how to grow.” But how can Lenovo find success where so many other companies have failed—or are currently failing? Simple, analysts say, all the company has to do is remember its roots and stick to the business sector.

As I mentioned, while Lenovo isn’t a household name in technology here in North America, the Chinese company has established a dominant foothold in the enterprise laptop market, the choice of white collar workers across the continent. So with the company’s ThinkPad line-up the choice of the enterprise market and the BYOD movement in full swing, Lenovo has a unique opportunity to cash in the fading dominance of its laptop brand, by giving business users mobile technology that’s functional at work, fun at home, and most importantly, familiar across the entire gamut of their lives.

In fact, most mobile manufacturers have been slow to heed the call for business ready devices, as Blackberry’s once shining star has virtually imploded, Apple doesn’t give enterprise a second thought, and Samsung’s SAFE (SAmsung For Enterprise) has yet to really catch on. If Lenovo can answer the call and produce functional and familiar mobile technology that can be used seamlessly with the company’s popular laptop line-up, the enterprise market is virtually Lenovo’s for the taking.

Simply put, businesses buy smartphone by the boat load, and if Lenovo is able to play its cards right, it could easily become the de facto enterprise choice, possibly creating a ThinkPhone that rivals the best our mobile industry currently has on offer.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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