Lenovo is now the fourth-largest smartphone seller and a possible BlackBerry buyer

Samsung and Apple are obviously the world’s top two smartphone vendors, but how many people can honestly say that they know the fourth place seller? The answer is Lenovo, which revealed strong earnings today that will reignite talk of it purchasing BlackBerry.

Lenovo, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, today reported a net profit of $174 million thanks in part to a push into the mobile market. Lenovo sold more smartphones than PC’s for the first time in the company’s history in the most recent quarter. The strong sales propelled Lenovo to its fourth place position, behind Samsung, Apple, and LG.

Readers outside of Asia may wonder how Lenovo could manage such a feat with virtually no western presence, but the company is the No. 2 smartphone company in China’s heavily-populated market. Canalys issued a report yesterday stating that Lenovo accounted for 4.7 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter of 2013, up from 2.8 percent during the same period last year.

While Lenovo is on the rise, it’s viewed as the most sensible company to pick up a company in decline. Lenovo has long been rumored as a potential BlackBerry buyer. Talk of Lenovo stepping in to pick up the troubled company has increased in wake of BlackBerry’s confirmation that it is willing to sell. When asked about a potential BlackBerry acquisition, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told the Wall Street Journal:

“I cannot comment on any specific target or deal. We believe that the PC industry and the mobile phone industry will continue to consolidate. So Lenovo is definitely in a good position to become an important player. If a target or deal is consistent with Lenovo?s strategy, we would take the opportunity.”

Purchasing BlackBerry could provide Lenovo a way to establish itself in more markets with a stronger brand and access to more patents and technology currently held by BlackBerry. However, that brand’s cache has diminished in recent years and BlackBerry is a hard sell to consumers. Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC division and still managed to grow its share of that market. Lenovo could potentially do the same and grow its mobile business outside of China by purchasing BlackBerry.

source: Wall Street Journal




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