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Local Tech Wire

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – is nearing release of a device that blends smartphone and laptop capabilities.

Liu Chuanzhi, chairman of the Lenovo Group and the world’s No. 4 PC maker, told the China Daily on Thursday that the combination cellphone and laptop device will be launched in April.

The mobile device “could replace the major function of computers,” Liu said.

He declined to disclose any specifics about the unit.

Liu has also said Lenovo will introduce a tablet PC, the China Daily added.

The new phone/laptop combination fits in with a strategy at Lenovo, the world’s No. 4 PC maker, that puts more emphasis on the mobile Internet market.

Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing told Reuters on Thursday that Lenovo’s repurchase of its former mobile phone unit in China last year and launch of a new smartphone is part of a strategy to capitalize on growing use of mobile devices to use the Net.

Lenovo’s strategy reflects that of Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Speaking at a conference in Dubai, Schmidt said smartphones are transforming the Internet.

According to The Associated Press, Schmidt said he has been “struck by the explosion of mobile computing” and added that mobile devices “are clearly going to win” the battle with traditional PCs.

Speaking to reporters at a conference in Beijing, Yang noted Lenovo’s phone launch and other devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Among the new products is a so-called smart laptop, or "smartbook," that automatically navigates connectivity between WiFi and cellular networks.

"We launched a number of mobile Internet products at CES and we’d like to be more productive in the segment," Yang told Reuters.

He also remained confident Lenovo would gain more market share in its home base of China.

"The Chinese market is growing very fast," he said. "I’m confident we can grow our market share."

Most Lenovo operations are based in China. Its global headquarters are in Morrisville.

After shuffling its management, reorganizing and streamlining the operations and introducing a host of new products, Lenovo returned to profitability last year.