After a top Chinese smartphone vendor, Lenovo is now struggling to locate a good footing in the cell world, gambling on the hyped blockchain industry to reclaim its share.
This June, the company is set to unleash its flagship full-screen smartphone, which is "a beast of prey," since Lenovo's vice president Chang Cheng maintained Monday on his official Weibo account.
"Competition is just starting," said Chang, targeting Xiaomi.
Blockchain technology is going to be one of the phone's key features, based on Lenovo's executives throughout an annual team meeting held in April.
It is not the first time Lenovo has tried out this new technology on a few of its telephones. A month ago, its funding apparatus Lenovo S5, which was promised to be the world's earliest blockchain-based smartphone, has been unveiled by the company under a high-profile marketing effort to compete with the likes of Xiaomi's Redmi Note 5.
Chang boasted in a statement that the S5, as a result of its encrypted payment system, can make a world where online transactions could be settled in a far safer way. Blockchain is an open and decentralized ledger that may ensure contracts are embedded using digital codes and saved in transparent and shared databases with information that no one can delete or revise. The technology is the center of Bitcoin along with other digital currencies, meaning that in the long run, a blockchain-enabled mobile user may be able to mine digital coins through their smartphone.
Blockchain is broadly perceived as a world-changing technology, but it doesn't mean it could now turn around Lenovo's mobile company, which has been bleeding because the Chinese company purchased iconic multinational telephone brand Motorola in 2014.
Taking the limelight
A survey of internet users conducted by national industry website zol.com.cn in April showed that nearly 40 percent of respondents intend to buy the new S5, but the adoption of blockchain didn't rank as one of the most desirable attributes.
Blockchain smartphones are likely to become the preserve of the tech-savvy, and might require a while to become mainstream. Given that, no other established hardware manufacturers in China and abroad have demonstrated any apparent goals to weigh in yet.
Nonetheless, the adoption of blockchain, a hotly discussed topic nowadays, may be used for promotional purposes by Lenovo so as to steal some limelight away from other aggressive rivals.
Lenovo has been out of the top 10 smartphone in China for the last two years, since rising stars like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have been fighting to direct on the market, a result of the clear merchandise rankings and strong branding plans. According to data from US research company Gartner, Lenovo was the one of two Chinese firm in terms of smartphone market share as of the start of 2014.
But its recent lackluster performance on the mobile front has certainly become the sore part of Lenovo's earnings. Its latest financial report revealed that Lenovo Group Ltd swung to a net loss of $222 million for the nine months ending in December 2017, with earnings from its cellular company dropping 5%.
Lenovo are also removed from Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index on June 4, according to the index's quarterly inspection. The company has dropped by almost 60% since it joined the estimate in 2013.
Nevertheless, Lenovo is optimistic about rebounding back. The organization had attained success with its popular and inexpensive line of G phones. Over 70 million Moto G series mobiles have been sold since the lineup launched five decades back, based on media reports.
Additional the blockchain-oriented S5, under the Lenovo manufacturer, shows the company is recognizing it has to differentiate. The company did not unveil the amount of S5s have been sold up to now, but stated that the first batch sold out in 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, Lenovo has been shaking up its management in the mobile company. Prior to this, Buniac conducted Lenovo's mobile business in Latin America and helped promote Motorola to become one of the best selling phone brands throughout the area.
In 2017, Motorola was the newest with the largest year-on-year growth in Latin America and rated in the No.2 position concerning shipments in the region after Samsung, data from global market consultancy Counterpoint Technology showed.
Lenovo has also cut jobs in Motorola's unit in Chicago, where the subsidiary is based, dropping hints it is finally pulling its forces together. Lenovo declared in its financial reports published in 2016 the Motorola integration fell below expectations and caused a few losses.
The cellular company group in China will also be handed over to Chang, stated an inner Lenovo letter. Chang was CEO of Lenovo's smartphone sub-brand Zuk, which contrasts with youthful generations, and can help add a strength to Lenovo's campaign to secure nearer to increasing young users. He has also been popular among tech websites, particularly because he is quite outspoken and contains over 2 million followers around Weibo.
A fresh management team means that a fresh start and fresh efforts in product differentiation will likely give Lenovo a good chance.