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Lenovo Vaults to Second Place in China Smartphone Market

Lenovo Group Ltd. overtook Apple Inc. during the second quarter for second place in smartphone sales in China, the world’s largest handset market.

Lenovo vaulted from seventh place in the first quarter to claim 11 percent of China’s smartphone sales in the three months ended June 30, market researcher IDC said in an e-mailed statement today. Apple’s share fell to 10 percent from 19 percent, IDC said. Both trailed leader Samsung Electronics Co.’s 19 percent share, which was unchanged from the first quarter.

Lenovo, the world’s second-largest maker of personal computers behind Hewlett-Packard Co., is stepping up development of smartphones, tablets and Internet-ready televisions to widen its offerings, following Apple and Samsung.

“Lenovo had a huge second-quarter due to increased volumes through operators, and a continued push into retail, leveraging on its PC retail stores and partnerships,” Teck-Zhung Wong, a Beijing-based analyst with IDC, said in an e-mail.

Lenovo, whose headquarters are in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina fell 1.2 percent to HK$6.40 as of 3:32 p.m. in Hong Kong trading. The shares have gained 23 percent so far this year, compared with a 7.8 percent rise in the Hang Seng Index.

Apple’s market share decline was due to “seasonality” and a drop off after a big first quarter when China Telecom Corp. was added as a second carrier partner in the country, Wong said. Apple also faces increased competition from high-end Android handsets from Samsung and HTC Corp., he said.

ZTE Corp., based in Shenzhen, rose to third place from fourth, Wong said. Cross-town rival Huawei Technologies Co. dropped to fifth, from third, he said.

Smartphones out-shipped feature phones for the first time in China in the second quarter with 44.4 million units, or 51 percent of total shipments of 87 million, he said.

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