Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Lenovo’s next big thing?

September 1, 2009

Electronics is a tough business, with most manufacturers
working tirelessly on what they hope will be the next big thing,
even as they survive on razor thin profit margins.

Lenovo, the world’s No. 4 PC brand, hopes it’s on
the brink of such a blockbuster, although CFO Wong Wai Ming was coy
about disclosing any details.

“I would like to think we are the only people to think of
that product,” Wong said at the Reuters China Investment Summit,
discussing the ongoing convergence between small web-linked PCs
and smartphones that increasingly resemble mini computers.

He said three years ago the cellphone and PC were distinct
markets, but with the advent of the netbook — a low cost PC
designed to access the Internet — the convergence between the
two products is coming, and soon, by some accounts.

“We obviously believe we can probably come up with a product,
whatever you call it, that will give the best customer experience
in using that gadget,” said Wong.

Lenovo’s larger rivals all offer smartphones or have
announced plans to do so, most recently Dell through a
tie-up with China Mobile.

“We have been actively spending a lot of research money and
product development money in coming up with a product,” Wong
said.

Stay tuned.

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