Lenovo smartphones not so far fetched

I talked to three Lenovo senior executives here in Las Vegas at the company’s annual channel conference about its smartphone coming to Canada and the U.S. market. All three told me there are no plans, no timeline and no consideration for bring the Lenovo smartphone to the North American market.

That said the feel I got from each of them is that Lenovo does want to one day introduce a smartphone to Canada. Both Jay Parker, the company’s North American president and Canada’s own Stefan Bockhop told me that Lenovo’s smartphone strategy is a global one.

Read what you want into that. Currently the Android-based smartphone is available in China, Indonesia, India, Russia, Viet Nam and the Philippines. This next stat might look odd to read but the total population of those six markets make up almost half of the world’s population. Parker said it’s roughly 47 per cent of the world’s population.

What does that tell you? Well it tells me that there are a lot of people who like the Lenovo smartphone. For example, when Lenovo introduced a smartphone in China it was well behind the Apple iPhone in marketshare. Today, the Lenovo smartphone is No. 2 in the marketplace behind Samsung and in front of Apple.

Parker said that a large part of the success of the Lenovo smartphone in China is that the company already is the most popular PC brand in the world’s most populous country.

The story here is a simple one. If you thought Lenovo was off its rocker for offering a smartphone; there not. The Lenovo smartphone is not going away and companies such as Apple and BlackBerry should take notice. Both are working very hard to increase marketshare in emerging markets. BlackBerry has actually done very well in places such as India for example. But these emerging markets are quite price conscious and for established mobile makers they need to be better at the price competition game. You have to think Lenovo because of their roots in Asia already know how to properly price products in these markets.

As Lenovo grows its base overseas do not be surprised if we see a Lenovo smartphone in Canada and the U.S. soon. I totally believe and accept what the three Lenovo executives said about not having a North American timeline for the introduction of a smartphone. However, all it takes is one phone call to fast track Lenovo’s entrance into the North American smartphone market.

One quick hit before I go. I was sad to read about Elaine Mah’s job switch at Intel Canada. I really think she should have been given more time to succeed or fail. One year as Intel Canada GM just isn’t enough time. Graham Parker is the new GM of Intel Canada.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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