Len­ovo gets ready to steal Ap­ple’s thun­der

Com­pany show­cases more prod­ucts from Mo­torola sub­sidiary

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO - By GAO YUAN gaoyuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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