Lenovo Group has said that it is evolving quickly into a supplier of wireless computing, driven by booming sales of smartphones and tablets as consumers shift away from desktop computers.
Sales of wireless devices rose 105% in the three months to the end of June, driving a 23% rise in profit to $174m, Lenovo said today. Total revenue rose 10% to $8.8 billion.
Lenovo was declared the number one personal computer maker in the latest quarter by research firms Gartner and IDC. But that came as global PC shipments fell for a fifth quarter in a row, highlighting the rapid consumer shift to mobile.
"We actually sold more smartphones and tablets than PCs in this quarter for the first time ever," the company's chief finanical officer Wong Wai Ming said.
PC shipments were flat and their share of total revenue for the company fell to 28%. Laptop sales, which account for 52% of revenue, rose 4.7%. Mobile devices supplied 14% of revenue.
Lenovo, with headquarters in Beijing and in North Carolina, broke into the wireless market with the 2010 launch of its first smartphone. It has since released more phones and Web-linked tablets to compete with Apple, South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Taiwan's HTC.
An update of its Thinkpad laptop released last year was designed to appeal to tablet users with features that mimic the quick startup and response times of mobile devices.
Other traditional technology leaders are also scrambling to shift emphasis to mobile products and to diversify into services as well as hardware.
The company said today that sales in China rose 5.6% to $3.7 billion, providing 42% of revenue. In the US and the rest of the Americas, sales grew 29% to $1.9 billion. Worldwide PC shipments declined 11% in the three months from April to June, according to Gartner and IDC.
In smartphones, Lenovo said it became the world's fourth-largest vendor during the quarter. Global sales rose 132%. This year's sales target is 50 million smartphones and 10 million tablets, said Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing. He said Lenovo is "very confident" it can meet that after the latest quarter.