Gadgets

Lenovo, the world’s top PC maker, now sells more smartphones and tablets than PCs

Above: Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga hybrid

Image Credit: Ricardo Bilton/VentureBeat

A strong first quarter for Lenovo also revealed an interesting shift for the company: It’s now selling more phones and tablets than it is personal computers, even though it’s currently ranked the world’s top PC vendor by IDC.

The company shipped 12.6 million PCs during the first quarter, while in China alone it sold more than 11 million smartphones. Lenovo didn’t offer a combined tally of mobile device sales, but it noted that its overall smartphone sales grew 130 percent globally and tablet sales tripled over the past year.

It’s important to note that Lenovo is only counting raw sales numbers here. The company is still making 51.6 percent of its revenues from laptop sales and 28.2 percent from desktops. Mobile sales only accounted for 13.7 percent of revenues (which are up 105 percent from last year).

For the first quarter, Lenovo reported a record $8.8 billion in revenues and profits of $170 million.

Lenovo is best known for carrying on the legacy of the ThinkPad after purchasing IBM’s computing business in 2005, but it’s also made tremendous strides in smartphones and tablets, especially in its home country of China. (The news is particularly ironic since Lenovo sold its mobile business in 2008 for $100 million, only to buy it back for twice the price a year later.)

The increasing shift towards mobile sales is a good thing for Lenovo in the post-PC era. But given how little money the company is currently making from mobile, it will certainly be difficult for that category to replace laptop and desktop sales down the line.