Lenovo is the world’s biggest PC maker, but its heart belongs to smartphones

Kobe Bryant approves of this Lenovo smartphone.
Kobe Bryant approves of this Lenovo smartphone.
Image: Reuters/China Daily
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The numbers: China’s Lenovo announced better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Thursday as net income rose 23% to $173.9 million from the year before, and revenues by 9.7% to a record $8.9 billion.

The takeaway: The company’s shift from PCs into smartphones is getting results. The company controls 16.7% of the world’s PC market, and just edged out HP for the number one spot, but its PC unit shipments were 12.6 million in the quarter, down 11% from a year ago. For the first time ever, smartphone and tablet sales surpassed PC sales during the quarter. Smartphone sales more than doubled to 11.4 million units, due to an aggressive push in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Russia. The company’s global smartphone market share is at 4.8% and climbing, and it now ranks fourth worldwide.

What’s interesting: The company is promising a series of hip new non-PC products for the holiday season, included the next generation of its Yoga tablet, though Lenovo’s stated goal of unseating Apple in products or profitability remain far-fetched. But chief executive Yang Yuanqing told Bloomberg Thursday he plans to be “proactive” about acquisitions, adding fuel to persistent speculation that Lenovo could snap up Blackberry, which could sew up key patents and super-charge its smartphone growth plans.