EXCLUSIVE: Lenovo + Acer Tipped To Enter OZ Smartphone Market

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Both Acer and Lenovo are tipped to enter the smartphone market via both retailers and carriers, both Companies are exploring their options.

ChannelNews has been told that a decision will be made shortly by both organisations who are under pressure from their parent Company to “get into the Australian smartphone market”. 

Lenovo is looking at a combination of Motorola and Lenovo branded models with the Company recently holding talks with all three carriers and JB Hi Fi.

Motorola which was once a household brand in the Australia is tipped to return to the Australian market in September, via Telstra, mass retailers and via the 50 new Vodafone stores that are set to be opened at Dick Smith locations. 

Darren Simmons, the Managing Director Oceanic Region, Acer Computers said “Yes we are reviewing our mobile communication options but no decision has been made. We are talking to carriers and retailers but before we enter the market we have to have a sustainable model”. 

Earlier this month Acer entered the highly competitive South Korean smartphone market, via a partnership with that country’s second-largest telecommunications service provider, Korea Telecom (KT).

The smartphone market in South Korea has long been dominated by Samsung, Apple and LG, said Acer in a statement, adding that it is the first Asian company outside of South Korea that has been able to make the breakthrough into that market.

Acer said it will feature its Liquid Z5, a touchscreen smartphone released in January, to carry KT’s services, which has 17 million subscribers and a market share of over 30%.

Besides South Korea, Acer said its smartphones have won recognition in Europe, with more devices to be launched in Central Europe through a partnership with telecommunication service provider T-Mobile.

In Thailand, has sold over 330,000 smartphones in the first quarter of 2014 making it the country’s third-largest smartphone provider.

Lenovo who is currently struggling with a decision as to whether they will take a full tilt at the Australian consumer PC market was late to the mobile party.

It produced its first smartphone in 2010, three full years after Apple introduced the iPhone – an age in the fast-paced technology industry. It remains a secondary player but has made rapid strides.

Last year Lenovo agreed to buy Motorola’s hardware assets and a minority of its patents for a $2.9bn via mixture of cash and Lenovo stock. Google had paid $12.5bn – albeit for thousands more patents.

 Lenovo is preparing to use Motorola as the spearhead of a big push in the smartphone market in Western Europe and the United States as well as in Australia with the Company believed to have briefed recruitment agencies for communication skilled staff.

Last year Lenovo was second only to Samsung in China, with 13pc of what is now the world’s largest smartphone market. It sold 50m handsets, which, combined with 9.2m tablet sales, meant it sold more mobile devices than PCs for the first time.

That progress has almost all been made on home turf, however, with some success in Russia and the United Arab Emirates. The acquisition of Motorola, the inventor of the mobile phone, is meant to change that.
 
The company has targeted mobile and tablet sales of more than 100m this year and is determined to become a strong third runner in a global mobile hardware market dominated by Samsung and Apple. It is banking on both the venerable brand and Motorola’s longstanding relationships with network operators in the West to drive its growth.
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