Lenovo Group Ltd. (992), the world’s largest personal-computer maker, is seeking to extend its push into the smartphone market by becoming first to sell a handset based on Intel Corp. (INTC:US)’s latest chip design.
The K900 will work on a new Intel dual-core version of its Atom processor, the company said. The phone will be sold in Asia, part of Lenovo’s effort to capture the attention of consumers there who are upgrading to their first smartphones.
“Like our PCs, we’re going to grow in faster-growing markets first,” said Nick Reynolds, a Lenovo director of marketing and strategy. “In 2013, we’re going to bring new markets online. We’re going to do it with a new phone.”
Lenovo, the second-largest smartphone seller in China, behind Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), more than doubled sales at its mobile Internet and digital-home unit in the first half of 2012. The decision by the Chinese company to use Intel is a step forward in the chipmaker’s effort to gain a foothold in phones, a market that’s growing faster than PCs, where its technology dominates.
Santa Clara, California-based Intel has less than 1 percent of the market for phone processors, compared with more than 80 percent share in chips for PCs, a market that shrank last year for the first time in more than a decade. In addition to Beijing-based Lenovo, Intel has recruited Google Inc. (GOOG:US)’s Motorola Mobility, China’s ZTE Corp. (000063), India’s Lava International Ltd. and France Telecom SA (FTE)’s Orange as phone-chip customers.
The new Lenovo K900 phone, based on a design by Intel, sports a 5.5-inch screen and has a 13-megapixel camera.
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