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Lenovo May Offer Windows Phone to Expand Mobile Line

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Lenovo Group Ltd., the world’s second-largest personal computer maker, may offer smartphones running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 operating system to expand its range of handsets beyond Google Inc.’s Android.

“We will assess whether we should launch Windows Phone,” Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing said in a phone interview yesterday. “We have a very good relationship with Microsoft. If the market and customers can accept Windows Phone, we will provide the product to them.”

Lenovo yesterday said it boosted sales of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets by 77 percent to $998 million last quarter. The company shipped 9 million smartphones, allowing its phone unit to turn a profit for the first time. Handsets will continue to have profitable growth in China, Yang said.

The company, which only introduced smartphones in 2010, last year became the second-largest supplier in China behind Samsung Electronics Co. Overtaking Samsung for the top spot in China is “definitely our aspiration,” Yang said.

The push into smartphones helped Lenovo report a 34 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter profit to $204.9 million.

Lenovo, which has its headquarters in Beijing and its main U.S. office in Morrisville, North Carolina, fell 2.7 percent to close at HK$8.30 in Hong Kong trading, before the announcement. It has climbed 18 percent this month, surpassing the 5.1 percent gain for the city’s Hang Seng Index.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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