Lenovo Begins Buyback Of Lenovo Mobile

Hoping to better target the mobile Internet market, Lenovo announced that it is planning to buy back the entire interest of Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology from a group of investors. Lenovo is putting up $200 million in cash and stock to reacquire its former mobile business sold to a group of investors in March 2008.

The announcement shows just how anxious PC makers are to get in on the handheld smartphone market, especially since we're seeing more convergence between the personal computing and mobile handset industry. It also shows how important China is to the market with its 700 million mobile subscribers. Given that Lenovo Mobile currently ranks No.3 in China’s mobile handset market and is the No.1 domestic brand, the acquisition provides a good way for Lenovo to get a quick stronghold in the market. Industry analysts project the China mobile Internet market will grow to exceed $16 billion by 2014.

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.”

Although Lenovo says its focus will be on the Chinese market for now, we have to think Lenovo branded handsets could be headed to other parts of the world eventually. That is, assuming the deal passes shareholder approval.