Feeds

Lenovo considering RIM buyout to boost mobile biz

'We are looking at all opportunities'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming says the company is actively pursuing ways to improve its position in the mobile device market, spurring speculation that the Chinese firm may be planning to cozy up with Research in Motion – or even swallow it whole.

In an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Wong said Lenovo is considering acquisitions as one way to stave off competition from smart devices, which have been cutting into its PC business.

"We are looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others," Wong said. "We'll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders."

Although he gave no specifics of what might have been proposed, Wong confirmed that Lenovo has spoken to RIM and its bankers about "various combinations or strategic ventures."

Wong would not say when Lenovo might make a bid for a mobile-maker – RIM or any other. But he did say the valuation of such a deal would be an important consideration and observed that RIM's stock price has recently returned to the double digits.

The Canadian smartphone maker's shares have indeed been rising in anticipation of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform, due to launch at the end of the month. But in December RIM was booted from the Nasdaq-100 for poor performance, and most analysts predict its troubles are far from over.

Lenovo's own mobile business, on the other hand, has been doing well, despite arriving late to the market. It launched its first smartphone in the second quarter of 2012, and six months later it was already outselling competitors Huawei and ZTE in the Chinese market. It's expected to take the lead from Samsung soon.

But that's China. Outside Asia, Lenovo is primarily known as a PC and notebook maker. If its smartphone business wants to gain better footing in the West, where giants Apple and Samsung overshadow all other competitors, acquiring or partnering with a company like RIM may be its best bet.

It's certainly a strategy that has served Lenovo well in the past. The Chinese firm bought IBM's PC business in 2005, including its respected ThinkPad brand. It has since risen to become the world's largest PC vendor, surpassing even HP (by some estimates, at any rate).

But struggling RIM would be the one to benefit most from a deal with Lenovo – or so its investors seem to think. The Canadian company's shares surged earlier this week when CEO Thorsten Heins told German newspaper Die Welt that he was considering various options, including selling off RIM's hardware business.

RIM declined to give any comment on a possible deal with Lenovo, but its shares rose 2.25 per cent anyway on the news and continued to climb in after-hours trading. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.