Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers, said it will begin sales of so-called smart televisions that can access the Internet in nine Chinese cities this month.
Lenovo’s K-Series comes in four models with 42- or 55-inch screens, and use Google Inc.’s Android 4.0 operating system with Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon dual-core processors, the Beijing-based company said in a statement today.
Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing is stepping up development of televisions, smartphones and tablets, to challenge Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. 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.
“As Lenovo continues to strengthen its position in the PC industry, we are also further expanding into the field of Internet devices,” Yang said at a briefing in Beijing today. “The PC-plus era is a great opportunity.”
Apple may also be looking to the TV market to maintain its growth. The company already sells Apple TV, a $99 streaming-video set-top box. In his best-selling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson quoted him saying he had “finally cracked” the challenge of creating “an integrated television set that is completely easy to use.”
Lenovo will offer its TV products in cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, the company said.