Lenovo gets ready to steal Apple’s thunder
Company showcases more products from Motorola subsidiary
Lenovo Group Ltd, the world’s biggest personal computer maker, has tried its best to throw a dampener over Apple Inc’s much-anticipated product updates on Thursday, by launching powerful competing devices the day before the United States-based tech giant revealed its latest plans.
Lenovo is hoping to boost its own mobile device sales by using its recently purchased Motorola unit.
So as the clock ticked down to the Apple launch, Lenovo introduced its new smartwatch, theMoto 360, as well as a number of other smartphones and tablets.
Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s chairman and chief executive officer, insisted the Beijingbased firm has a better product strategy than its rivals, after restructuring the Motorola unit.
“We will bring the full spectrum of Motorola devices to China, covering a wider range of users and online sales,” Yang said onWednesday.
“Lenovo-branded handsets will focus on working with telecom carriers, launching contract phones with them.”
He also introduced aMotorola handset to the market at the smartwatch launch.
The Moto 360 becomes the first wearable available in the country running on Google Inc’s Android Wear operating system tailored for smartwatches and other wearable gadgets.
The introduction of Android Wear reflects Google’s ambition in China, too, as speculation mounts that the world’s largest search engine is set to return to the Chinese mainland.
Yang said Lenovo will be Google’s “closest ally” if theUS firm makes a reappearance.
The new Motorola handset, armed with a 21-megapixel camera, allows users to tailor the color and texture of its back case, and is aimed at luring self-conscious young iPhone users.
Chen Xudong, Lenovo’s senior president and head of its mobile business, said the Moto 360 will cost a fraction of the price of the AppleWatch.
AntonioWang, an analyst at research firm International Data Corp, said although the loss-making Motorola has hurt Lenovo’s profitability in the past quarter— and is likely to continue that in the next one or two quarters— Motorola has given the Chinese firm its best chance of entering the high-end market.
“Lenovo will pick up strength after Motorola fully integrates its system, and new products start to roll into China and major overseas markets,” saidWang.
Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner Inc, said the appeal of premium smartphones will be key for vendors to attract buyers and grow their market shares in China.
Apple remains the biggest obstacle for local manufacturers to achieve that goal, however.
Yang also took time to praise Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, on its mostrecent product designs, adding it was one of the few vendors that had focused on product, without relying on marketing stunts.
Although the two local giants battle each other in the market, Huawei and Lenovo both view Apple as their main rival.
The Guangdong-basedHuawei has just attempted to hit Apple hard before its new iPhones become available, by also launching its latest flagship, the Mate S, locally. The 4,199 yuan ($658) pamphlet directly targets iPhone users.
Xiaomi Corp, meanwhile, and six-month-old Qiku Network Technologies (Shenzhen) Co Ltd, have also unveiled new products in recent weeks, in an attempt to take a bite out of Apple’s marketing momentum.