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Look out for the Electronic Invasion

Lenovo Group Ltd. (992), the world’s largest maker of personal computers, plans to expand its smartphone business in three west African countries this year as it builds on a surge in demand in Nigeria.

 

The company will sell models of data-enabled phones including the Vibe X and S930 in Nigeria starting in the first week of March, Graham Braum, Beijing-based Lenovo’s general manager for Africa, said in a Feb. 4 interview in Lagos. The company may start sales in Ghana and Ivory Coast later in the year, he said.

 

“Smartphones are fast becoming a primary platform for work, entertainment and social networking” in Nigeria, Braum said. Africa’s most populous nation with 170 million people is the next big market for Lenovo following a “successful” entrance in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, he said.

 

Lenovo agreed to buy Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility phone unit for $2.91 billion last month as it builds up its smartphone business to offset dwindling PC sales. The deal creates the world’s third-biggest smartphone vendor, behind Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., both of which already sell phones in Nigeria.