The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of WRAL.com.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Lenovo generated many headlines last week in announcing plans for a nearly $800 million facility for the design and manufacturing of mobile devices in China. But what could eventually prove to be the big news came the next day when the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer formally announced the launch of its so-called “smart TVs” later in May.
“As Lenovo continues to strengthen its position in the PC industry, we are also further expanding into the field of Internet devices,” Lenovo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing declared in Beijing.
“The PC-plus era is a great opportunity.”
Lenovo is determined to topple HP as the world’s No. 1 PC manufacturer, utilizing a strategy of acquisitions plus partnerships in Europe and Japan to achieve that goal. New products continue to flow out of its global labs from Morrisville to Japan to China.
Its smartphones and new tablets are taking on Apple in its home market of China where the Apple brand is a consumer sensation.
Now comes the smart TV lineup, which Lenovo showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January.
Bloomberg reports that Lenovo’s K-Series TVs (screens ranging from 42 inches to 55 inches) will launch in nine cities across China. All are Internet capable, being equipped with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processors, thus packing plenty of power. They also are powered by Andriod 4.0.
A Lenovo spinoff in China is also rolling out a new videogame platform with hands-off control. Might make a nice package with a new TV, eh?
But Lenovo faces plenty of competition, and the TV market is a treacherous one with Panasonic and Sony having trouble making money against competitors such as LG and Samsung.
And as Bloomberg news noted, Lenovo’s rivals are not sitting still.
“TV makers including Samsung and LG Electronics Inc. are introducing interactive features including voice-command searching for shows and Web-based applications to lure buyers,” Bloomberg reported.
Lenovo is due to announce quarterly earnings, perhaps this week. The company, which operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville, recently expanded its distribution center in the Triad in order to meet growing demand for its products in North America.
Who knows, someday that list of goods could include TVs.
[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire by clicking here.]