Lenovo seeks smartphone market rise

Despite the political instability and sluggish economy, Lenovo, the world’s biggest maker of computers, has earmarked 500 million baht to boost its share of the Thai smartphone market.

The move is aimed at moving the market place of Lenovo smartphones in Thailand to third place from the sixth at present.

Jeerawut: Thailand a priority market

This means it has to beat mobile phones from HTC, Thai Mobile and BlackBerry and come just behind giants iPhone and Samsung.

Lenovo has gained a 4.5% share of the smartphone market in Thailand, said the global research firm IDC.

The move will help increase its share of the market to double digits this year.

Jeerawut Wongpimonporn, the country general manager at Lenovo (Thailand), said this is the highest budget set since investing heavily in setting up an office in the country.

The money will be used to advertise on TV, support distribution channels and beef up point-of-sale outlets upcountry.

Mr Jeerawut said Lenovo regards emerging countries as priority destinations for expansion.

Asean members with large populations such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are particular targets.

Gaining a significant market share in emerging countries will enable Lenovo to become one of the top two smartphone makers in the world.

Smartphone sales in Thailand have been growing well, said Mr Jeerawut.

He said this is thanks to the migration to 3G, which has helped to offset Lenovo’s declining computer sales.

Tuantong Srivichian, Lenovo’s country sales manager for smartphones, said the company will next month introduce as many as 40 new smartphone models.

They will be priced between 1,900 and 15,000 baht apiece.

The 1,900-baht smartphone is considered the cheapest in the category.

It plans to use an aggressive pricing strategy in order to narrow prices between products of Lenovo and of those rivals to 15-20% lower.

Recently, it launched the Vibe Z model, a flagship in the premium smartphone category, for 14,990 baht.

The model comes equipped with a 5.5-inch display and quad-core processor and supports 4G network to directly compete with Samsung’s Note3 and LG’s G2.

IDC (Thailand) said sales of local smartphones will reach 12-13 million units out of a total of 19 million mobile phones sold this year.

Smartphones priced below 4,000 baht a unit account for 50-60% of the overall smartphone market.

Local smartphones last year reached 9 million units from 4 million in 2012.

About the author

Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter